Transportation / Mobility

January 20, 2006


Ministry Releases Guidance to Promote Light Rail Transit System

Keywords: Government Transportation / Mobility 

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport released, on October 13, 2005, a guidance document to provide technical advice to municipalities considering the introduction of a light rail transit (LRT) system--a sophisticated public transportation system using modernized streetcars.

To build sustainable cities by making them more compact, it is critical to promote efficient, barrier-free public transportation systems that have lower environmental impacts. As a system meeting these requirements, LRT has been attracting growing attention in recent years.

There are successful examples in the United States and Europe where LRT systems are well integrated into city planning. In reference to these examples, a number of Japanese cities have examined the feasibility of LRT systems, but none of them have reached a decision yet to launch a new and full-scale LRT system. Major obstacles to LRT systems are difficulties in (1) making an LRT project profitable; (2) providing connections with bus and railroad services; (3) securing space for LRT; (4) tying up with urban development projects in areas along an LRT line; and (5) sharing the road with automobile traffic.

Under these circumstances, the ministry's review committee, consisting of academic experts, local government officials and representatives of railroad companies, discussed the problems involved and prepared guidance to facilitate the introduction of LRT systems. The document is available in Japanese on the ministry's website.

Posted: 2006/01/20 08:37:31 AM
Japanese version