“If You're Just a Bus Community … You're Second Tier”: Motivations for Rapid Mass Transit (RMT) Development in Two Mid-sized Cities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - benefits, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - mass transit, organisation - competition, place - australasia, place - north america, place - urban, ridership - demand


Comparative urbanism, interurban competition, public transport, rapid mass transit, urban image


This article considers the motivations for rapid mass transit (RMT) development in two mid-sized cities: Auckland, New Zealand and Edmonton, Canada. To understand these cities' investment in RMT, we weigh factors related to interurban competition (around economic and non-economic factors) as well as explanations grounded in utilitarian and local benefits. Key informants reported that concerns for urban image and competitiveness were important in both cities. RMT was understood to contribute to both economic performance and international reputation, especially in Auckland. Local benefits related to improvements in economic efficiency and meeting city residents' demand for high-quality public transport.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.