Over the next 15 years it can be anticipated that rapid transit systems in the world's large cities will increase in number from 70 to over 100. Major advances will also be made in areas such as productivity, revenue protection and service quality. Light rail systems also continue to grow. There will be huge population growth with much taking place in developing countries. Despite resources devoted to rural development, the explosive growth will occur in cities. A wide spectrum of mass transit packages now available ensure that new urban rail networks tailored to particular needs will continue to be built. Cities which cannot afford subways are choosing elevated construction. When either is too expensive, surface right-of-way will be used. The author discussed two recent systems. Hong Kong has built a 3-line rapid transit system designed for a throughput of 60,000 passengers per hour in one direction using 8-car trains. Revenues more than cover operating and depreciation costs. Tyne and Wear Metro in northeast England is a light rail system created mainly by taking over British Railways trackage supplemented by new segments including tunnels under downtown Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Here capacity is 10,000 per hour using trains of two twin-bodied articulated cars. Tyne & Wear has been a success, reversing declining usage of public transit. A major problem for the future is provision for changing demand--increasing vastly in some places and decreasing elsewhere--within tighter budgets. London Underground looks at a future where railways will continue to be the backbone of public transit. Its transformation for the 21st Century will include one-person-operation, advanced communications, and automatic fare collection. While advanced technologies such as maglev will be utilized, needs of major cities will be met by refining rail technology. There is no substitute for cheap, reliable and attractive trains.

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  • Accession Number: 00399794
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1985 12:00AM