Urban rail systems : a planning framework to increase their success
Since the 1970s, there has been a significant increase in urban rail investment. 139 new urban rail systems, metros and light rail systems, have been built world-wide in the past three decades. These investments were in general planned as instruments to solve transport and land-use problems associated with the extensive use of the car. Very few have been successful in improving transport and the urban environment. Previous research has shown that while most of the new generation urban rail systems have not been very successful, their success could have been enhanced if the co-ordination between transport planning and urban planning had been stronger. However, coordination is very difficult to achieve within the contemporary local government structure and fragmented planning system. In spite of these findings, political support for urban rail systems is still strong, and investment on these systems is very likely to continue. Considering the cost incurred in the development of these systems, to make them successful remains a challenge. This study explores ways of making new urban rail systems more successful. It develops a methodology for analysing the success of systems, identifying the factors behind their success, and enhancing their success. Based on the analysis of new generation urban rail systems, a planning framework is developed. The framework is a policy-based approach to help planners and operators to increase the success of their systems. It has two main functions: it predicts the success of new systems, and makes recommendations on how their success can be enhanced. While the framework addresses many factors that may affect success, there is a special focus on exploring methods for providing and sustaining co-ordination between transport and urban planning. The planning framework is developed through the analysis of eight case studies, four from the United States, one from Canada, and three from Britain. It is then tested on seven other urban rail systems, five from the United States, one from Canada, and one from France. Finally, the framework is applied to recently opened urban rail systems in Britain and Turkey: it predicts how successful these systems are likely to be, and shows how their success can be enhanced.