Sustainability, Public Transportation and Technological Innovations

An analysis of data of the past few decades from cities around the world indicates that history is repeating itself. Although there are significant differences in socioeconomic and technological characteristics among these cities, a remarkable similarity exists in the trend in urban transportation. The current growth in the use of automobiles in many cities of developing countries follows similar trends experienced in the U.S. and other developed countries several decades earlier. Even though there is much awareness and knowledge about sustainability, private vehicle ownership and use continue to grow at an increasing pace with rising personal incomes and desire to experience faster and more reliable transportation technology. Urban density, expressed in number of people and/or jobs per hectare, is the key indicator of the level of automobile ownership and use and of associated parameters of sustainability. As personal incomes rise, choice of residential and job location increases, causing a decrease in urban density and affecting the relative use of private transportation and public transit. There are policy options related to land use, pricing, and technological factors that can profoundly influence long-term sustainability of urban transportation systems around the world. The basic implication of the analysis is that urban transportation sustainability cannot be achieved unless there are profound changes in urban structures and activities that can slow or reverse the growth in the use of private automobiles and can make transit and other modes as attractive and viable.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 459-482
  • Monograph Title: Urban Public Transportation Systems: Ensuring Sustainability Through Mass Transit. Proceedings of the Second International Conference, April 14-18, 2002, Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01002889
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0784407177
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 3 2005 1:37PM