Title

RAIL TRANSIT IN THE NEXT MILLENNIUM: SOME GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2000

Subject Area

place - europe, place - asia, place - africa, mode - rail

Keywords

United States, Trend (Statistics), Trade off analysis, Soviet Union (Former), Ridership, Rail transit, Rail kilometers, Patronage (Transit ridership), Latin America, Former Soviet Union, Europe, Comparison studies, Canada, Asia, Alternatives analysis, Africa

Abstract

Worldwide rail transit is discussed, focusing on grade-separated metro and light rail systems. Five major geographic areas are considered: Asia and Africa; Europe; Latin America; the United States and Canada; and the former Soviet Union. Systems are compared by continent and country, number of lines per urban area, line lengths, station spacing, rail kilometers per million persons, annual rides per capita, and riders per route kilometer. Nine countries--the United States, the former Soviet Union, Germany, Japan, France, China, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and Canada--account for 68% of all rail transit systems. Ridership per capita is generally lowest in North America and highest on systems in the former Soviet Union. Europe has the largest number of systems, the most rail kilometers per million persons, and the third highest level in annual rides per capita. Comparisons and trends suggest a need for additional rail transit in the next millennium, as urban areas throughout the world continue to grow.