Bonn: German Institute of Development and Sustainablity (IDOS)
The socio-economic well-being of urban areas depends on a well-functioning transportation system that makes it easier for people to access goods and services. Most urban areas in emerging economies are expanding in size and human population, resulting in increased demand for transportation and mobility. But these urban areas are characterised by high motorisation and inadequate public transportation resulting in traffic congestion, accidents and increasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Urban rail (metro, tram, suburban) can be the solution because trains can move a large number of people at high speed at short intervals, provide reliable services because of its spatial isolation, contribute minimal GHGs when the source of energy is renewable, and has a low accident rate. However, urban rail is expensive and require many technical and technological capabilities often unavailable in emerging economies because they are technological latecomers. This paper examines how two emerging economies, China and India, have been developing local capabilities through an industrial policy to ensure increased urban rail development.