The most attractive alternative: Commuter high-speed transport

Jun 22nd, 2011 | Category: Articles, Current Issue MT, June 11, Policies & Strategies

Urban areas are confronted with major challenges due to an increased number of residents and the importance acquired by their suburbs. Distances between suburbs and their city centres have become a real mobility problem, which makes transport a vital service, with special attention granted to the commuter rail transport.

It is well-known the fact that, worldwide, the transport accessibility influences the locations of great companies, land costs and the development of the real estate market. Currently, one of the greatest challenges in planning metropolitan areas is improving transport for a positive impact on the development and supply of fast and efficient transport services.
The distance between more and more people and their job location is every day longer, which impacts directly on commuter transport and, since public transport lacks a coherent organisation, commuters are inclined to use individual motorized vehicles. Conventional railway transport has been promoted as the appropriate means of transport for providing connections for commuters. However, at the moment, high-speed transport poses great challenges to every region.
High-speed has helped change the passenger’s customs, bringing a significant contribution in terms of efficiency, quality and reliability and providing safer connections to destinations.
As for commuter high-speed transport, China stands proof. There are several routes where trains are running every 3 to 5 minutes and the number of trains reaches 800 per day (by 2012) leading to a full-use of services.
“If by 2007, high-speed lines had a total length of more than 1,000 km, the constantly increasing demand has determined the authorities to build lines. In 2015, the network is expected to reach 13,000 km and lines will link cities to their suburbs”, said the Ministry of Railways. In 2010, the share of railway transport increased by 9.9% per year, the number of passengers carried amounting to 1.68 billion.
By 2015, the railway infrastructure in Guizhou province will reach 5,300 km from 2,050 km and in the next 10 years, around USD 70 Billion will be invested in the construction of more than 700 km of line”, said governor Zhao Kezhi.
China’s high-speed network has known a significant growth in the past ten years, being the world’s largest network and China doesn’t stop here, because the delivery of high-speed transport services especially for commuters has become the most attractive transport alternative.

by Pamela Luică

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