The work described in this report was carried out by a study team from Halcrow Fox and Associates and the Overseas Unit of the Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL), to examine under what conditions, mass transit rail systems could be justified in developing countries, and also to consider how aid agencies could appraise such projects. Field work consisted of visits to 21 selected cities and collecting information. The cities included 9 with established metros (Hong Kong, Manila, mexico City, Porto Alegre, Pusan, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Sao Paulo, and Seoul), 4 with incomplete but recently opened metros (Cairo, Calcutta, Singapore and Tunis) two with metros under construction (Istanbul and Medellin) and six with plans for metros (Bogota,Bombay,Dehli, Jakarta,Karachi and Kuala Lumpar). Standard model procedures were utilized to produce a strategic model designed to require relatively little data. The model comprised a traffic (and land use) model and separate evaluation model. On average 62% of the gross benefits predicted from the Metros in the evaluation year were time savings, and these benefits were largely enjoyed by former bus passengers. The study confirms that Metros are not generally financially viable in developing countires. The conditions necessary to bring economic viability to a project relate to corridor and city size, higher than average per capita growth, and growth prospects, efficient administration of the metro system, and financial support for fares. Finally, implications for aid agencies are discussed. It is thought unlikely that aid agencies will support metro projects which have less than 10% to 12% econmic rate of return.

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