Managing mobility

LSE Cities research has consistently identified public transport as a key driver of urban economic, environmental and social performance. The four case studies of Delhi, Bogotá, London and Tokyo, have pioneered innovations in transport in the last few decades, from Tokyo’s highly integrated transport system to Delhi’s new Metro, London’s Congestion Charge, Boris Bikes and CrossRail to Bogotá’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and ciclovías. The colours of routes on the maps identify which level of government – national, state, city, local and shared responsibility – owns and manages different parts of the network. The bar charts indicate the percentage of the type of city transport infrastructure managed by each government level. In London, there is a separation between ownership and operations – with some private companies managing buses and trains – while the public sector (mayor and boroughs) still maintains the strategic and managerial power over the base infrastructure. Delhi’s BRT route (50% private sector funded) and Tokyo’s rail privatisation (representing 63% of the transport infrastructure) confirm the growing importance of private sector investment in public transport infrastructure. Although national governments traditionally control and fund the management of rail-based public transport, this research confirms that they play a less significant role than the sub-city level when it comes to roads. In London, local boroughs manage 90% of roads, while the Mayor (through Transport for London) controls the major arteries which carry 30% of the city’s traffic. Local boards control 89% of the roads in Tokyo. Infrastructure management at the level of the municipality represents an advantage in terms of the exercise of democracy and responsiveness to citizens, but economic growth and the availability of resources will struggle to keep apace of the requirements of urban populations. As a result, support from the private sector or national government will become even more significant to the sustainability of urban transport systems in the future.

These maps do not display every road within the metropolitan area, in some cases to improve legibility and in others due to the unavailability of data.