Competition in Transportation
Reductions in dividend rates during the first quarter of 1931 by leading railway systems whose stocks are widely distributed have brought sharply to public attention the effects of eighteen months of declining revenues upon the financial condition of American railroads.1 The temporary effects of the general business depression have tended, however, to obscure the more permanent effects of the “new competition” which has developed during the last decade and is now held in some quarters to threaten the preeminence of the railroads in the field of transportation.
During recent years the railroads have had to face intensified competition from several quarters. The automobile and motor truck have made heavy inroads upon railway passenger and freight traffic. Inland waterways have entered a period of ...