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The Future for Interurban Passenger Transport

Bringing Citizens Closer Together

image of The Future for Interurban Passenger Transport

Economic growth, trade and the concentration of population in large cities will intensify demand for interurban transport services. Concurrently, the need to manage environmental impacts effectively will increase. How successful we are in coping with demand will depend on our ability to innovate, to manage congestion, and to improve the quality of transport services. Technological and regulatory innovation will shape the future of transport.

These conference proceedings bring together ideas from leading transport researchers from around the world related to the future for interurban passenger transport..  A first set of papers investigates what drives demand for interurban passenger transport and infers how it may evolve in the future.  The remaining papers investigate transport policy issues that emerge as key challenges: when to invest in high-speed rail, how to regulate to ensure efficient operation, how to assign infrastructure to different types of users, and how to control transport’s environmental footprint by managing modal split and improving modal performance.

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How Transport Costs Shape the Spatial Pattern of Economic Activity

International Transport Forum

By its very nature, transport is linked to trade. Trade being one of the oldest human activities, the transport of commodities is, therefore, a fundamental ingredient of any society. People get involved in trade because they want to consume goods that are not produced within reach. The Silk Road provides evidence that shipping high-valued goods over long distances has been undertaken because of this very precise reason. But why is it that not all goods are produced everywhere? The reason is that regions are specialized in the production of certain products. The first explanation for specialisation that comes to mind is that nature supplies specific environments needed to produce particular goods. According to Diamond (1997), spatial differences in edible plants, with abundant nutrients, and wild animals, capable of being domesticated to help man in his agricultural and transport activities, explain why only a few regions have become independent centres of food production. Though relevant for explaining the emergence of civilization in a few areas, we must go further to understand why, in the wake of the Industrial Revolution, interregional and international trade has grown so rapidly.

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