Further development of new and innovative transportation technologies for intercity passenger service is dependent upon the resolution of certain remaining technological problems but, most importantly, upon the assessment of their economic viability. This paper outlines the critical elements of this assessment, with emphasis on the role of transportation system planning. Some of the initial results of the service design of baseline configurations of high-speed rail and tracked air cushion systems in the Northeast Corridor of the United States are presented as example outputs of the planning process.
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