Evaluating the Impact of Access to Rail Transport System on Social Welfare: Case Study of Iran

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Fereshteh Faghihinejad et al.


Today, transportation is considered one of the most effective factors affecting the economic development of cities. It is because greater access to cities to transportation results in reduced finished cost of the goods consumed by people in these regions, land-use changes, and enhanced employment and income generation for them. All these suggest enhanced welfare of the residents and economic development of regions. In many studies, the relationship between rail access and economic development has been investigated, in most of which only the general relationship between these two parameters has been confirmed. However, the existence of a mathematical relationship between railway access of cities and their economic development has not been explored. In this paper, 75 cities have been investigated from all around Iran to model the relationship between these two parameters. These cities account for 33% of the entire population of the country. The selection criteria for cities was a temporal distance of at least 2-3 hours from each other (so that the residents of these cities would not be able to work in any other chosen cities); the cities were scattered throughout the country so that the entire country would be studied. After selecting the cities, railway access of each city was calculated, followed by the average income of the people in that city. Eventually, the relationship between these two parameters was calculated by SPSS, and then the excellent relationship between the parameter of access and economic development was obtained. It was found that access can significantly affect the economic development of different regions. After assessing the relationships obtained, it was found that these relations can predict by at least up to 69% the average income of other cities not used in the modeling.

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