IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the employment agglomeration and social accessibility impacts of high speed rail in Eastern Australia


  • David Hensher


  • Richard Ellison


  • Corinne Mulley



There is growing interest in establishing additional evidence, under the umbrella of the wider economy impacts of transport infrastructure projects, to support transport projects in general and public transport projects in particular that struggle to obtain benefit–cost ratios sufficient to gain the support of financial agencies. This paper focuses on one element of wider economy impacts, often referred to as effective economic (employment) density or employment agglomeration impacts, and another, less usually identified, social accessibility impact (SAI) which we refer to as effective social density, which in broad terms provide, correspondingly, evidence of the potential gains in work-related output (often referred to as productivity gains) and potential gains in non-work-related outputs. Both are associated with gains in individual and household benefit attributable to improved accessibility to services linked with populations and particular locations. The SAIs may capture some of the induced benefits in those jurisdictions where these are included routinely in benefit–cost analysis, and the methodology here is most appropriate to those settings where an existing calibrated demand curve may not be available. Using the proposed high speed rail (HSR) project between Sydney and Melbourne as the empirical setting, we identify economic agglomeration and social accessibility benefits for work and non-work related activity respectively. We find the former to be relatively small compared to the significant gains associated with non-work related travel activity, suggesting the greatest benefits associated with HSR, especially for those residents outside of the major metropolitan areas, will be non-work related travel activity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • David Hensher & Richard Ellison & Corinne Mulley, 2014. "Assessing the employment agglomeration and social accessibility impacts of high speed rail in Eastern Australia," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 463-493, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:41:y:2014:i:3:p:463-493
    DOI: 10.1007/s11116-013-9480-7

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hensher, David A., 1997. "A practical approach to identifying the market potential for high speed rail: A case study in the Sydney-Canberra corridor," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 431-446, November.
    2. Melo, Patricia C. & Graham, Daniel J. & Noland, Robert B., 2009. "A meta-analysis of estimates of urban agglomeration economies," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 332-342, May.
    3. Truong, Truong P. & Hensher, David A., 2012. "Linking discrete choice to continuous demand within the framework of a computable general equilibrium model," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 46(9), pages 1177-1201.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Levine, Jonathan & Merlin, Louis & Grengs, Joe, 2017. "Project-level accessibility analysis for land-use planning," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 107-119.
    2. Stewart, Anson F. & Zegras, P. Christopher, 2016. "CoAXs: A Collaborative Accessibility-based Stakeholder Engagement System for communicating transport impacts," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 423-433.
    3. Repolho, Hugo M. & Church, Richard L. & Antunes, António P., 2016. "Optimizing station location and fleet composition for a high-speed rail line," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 437-452.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:transp:v:41:y:2014:i:3:p:463-493. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.