Posted on behalf of Om Prakash Agarwal
As cities grow, both in population and size, they tend to spill over traditional municipal boundaries. Thus, Delhi has spread out into Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad and Cairo has spread out into the Giza and Qalubiya Governorates. These are only two examples of so many that exist around the world. China is grappling with how to plan for and manage transport systems in “City Clusters” and Colombia is exploring ways of managing regional transport systems. Nairobi’s metropolitan region covers several Governorates besides the Nairobi Governorate. Seoul metropolitan region encompasses Seoul, Incheon and other municipalities.
These regions and city clusters tend to have significant social and economic inter-dependence. As a result, people’s travel patterns do not limit themselves to the traditional municipal boundaries but cut across jurisdictions. It becomes extremely important that transport systems also follow these travel patterns and take on an inter-jurisdictional coverage. The key question that arises in such situations is how such systems should be managed and regulated – who will issue route permits, who will fix fares, who will fix schedules and, in cases where private operations are contracted, who will enter into the contracts. Because of these difficulties, several regions do not have regional transport systems and people feel compelled to use personal motor vehicles to get around the absence of regional systems.
While there is some thinking about setting up regional regulatory bodies there is a fear about local municipalities or jurisdictions having to surrender some of their authority to a regional authority. There is also an element of inter-municipal rivalry which raises the question of who will head such an authority.
Three models seem to have been most used so far. In London, the mayor of London heads the regional authority (Transport for London) being the head of the largest city in the region. In other cases, a representative of a higher level of Government tends to head it (for example in Paris the head was from the Provincial Government for quite some time) and Nairobi is contemplating a representative from the Ministry of Transport. The head of the Greater Cairo Transport Regulatory Authority is the Minister for Transport from the National Government. Vancouver presents a third example where the cities within the region jointly select the head of the regional transport authority (TransLink).
As more regions begin thinking about establishing and managing regional systems, this will become a key issue they will have to deal with. Any suggestions on novel ways to manage regional transport systems will be welcome. Any other examples of such systems will also be welcome.
The World Bank
Note: This discussion will close Tuesday January 12, 2016
Message was edited by: UT CoPTeam