Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Urban Transport Sector in Developing Countries

There are critical differences in the urban transport problems that the cities in the developing countries face as compared to the industrialized countries. Urban transport systems of cities in the developing countries are characterized by premature congestion and deteriorating environmental standards and security c0nditi0ns. The mega cities of developing countries face road congestion at much lower levels of car ownership. Although most developing countries have less than 100 cars per thousand people as compared to 400 or more in the industrialized world but the relationship between income growth and car ownership is similar. Congestion in mega cities of developing counties is due to the concentration of population and income in the cities. In many African and Asian cities the capital city is more than 40 times as large as the second city. The primacy index for Malaysia was 0.29 in 2000 and a similar situation is prevalent in many other cities of Asia. Vehicle ownership and use is growing even faster than the population, with ownership growth rates of 15–20% per year not uncommon in developing countries. However, growth of road infrastructure has not been able to keep pace with the vehicle growth. 
The most important feature of urban transport systems in developing countries is the absence of an efficient public transport system. Unlike the rich industrialize countries which are able to afford rail based mass transit systems; public transport is developing countries are mostly dependent on buses. Though buses are the main mechanized public transport mode, carrying 6.5 trillion (6.5 × 1012) passenger-km per year in 3 million vehicles, of which over 2 million operate in cities, the traditional local monopoly bus operators, whether private or publicly owned, have now mostly collapsed. (Gwilliam 2003)

photo by jeevs
New Delhi Metro, photo by Wen-Yan King

more about urban transportation:

The relationship of historic city form and contemporary greenway implementation: a comparison of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (USA) and Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)


The Maddening Wrongness of TTI’s Annual Urban Mobility Rankings

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