Comparing the delivery cross-boundary transport services at different levels of governance – an examination of cross-boundary services in Northern Europe and United States metropolitan public transport operations


J Crocker

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - governance, place - europe, mode - subway/metro


With the near completion of the High-Speed Train (HST) network in northwestern Europe – specifically the Paris-Brussels-Koln-Amsterdam Axis of the TEN-T – international high speed rail services such as Thalys and Eurostar are now familiar elements in the transport landscape. In the United States, as metropolitan areas have grown, they have come to cross county and state boundaries that traditionally define service areas for public transport operations requiring new types of cross boundaries services to be provided. Both of these types of services involve the crossing of a political boundary that has traditionally defined the reach of transport operations – international borders in the case northwestern Europe and local county and state boundaries for the United States public transport operations. In many cases, the operators of these services also do not control the infrastructure upon which they are providing the transport service. Additionally, travelers on these services do not notice that transition from one political jurisdiction to the other, creating a sense a completely integrated transport network. A question arises that even though the HST crosses international boundaries and public transport operations cross more local boundaries, are there similar types of arrangements involved in the control and management of these services, despite the different responsibilities between nation states and local governments? Through an examination of international high-speed rail services operating in Belgium, specifically services operated by Thalys, Eurostar, SNCF, DB, and the future HSA, and inter-regional bus and rail public transport operations in Seattle, Dallas, northern Indiana, and New England in the United States, the author shows that there are similar organizational arrangements that govern the management and control of cross-boundary transport operations at different levels of governance. These results suggest that transport policy planners in Europe can draw upon the wealth of research done on provision of regional public transport in the United States when developing proposals for new international services and that United States metropolitan areas can draw upon the experiences of the European Union when developing new regional public transport services that cross local political boundaries.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.