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From bullet trains to subways Lessons from Japan

Bullet Train

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From bullet trains to subways Lessons from Japan

Two things are critical for successful urban transit. First, seamless integration of service between different transit operators. Second, encouraging private firms to operate urban transit along with state-owned transit operators. This has made transit a success in Tokyo. Toronto should take note.When it comes to running trains, one can learn from the Japanese experience. After all, it is the land of the rising sun and that of the bullet train. So when the Japanese experts in urban rail operations arrived in Toronto to share their experience, the transit enthusiasts and decision-makers showed up to listen. In attendance were MetroLinx?s CEO Bruce McCuaig and TTC commissioner Karen Stintz along with transit experts and planners.The Consulate General of Japan hosted the Toronto Urban Rail Seminar. Japanese transit experts shared their expertise in operating the integrated urban rail transit system in Tokyo and its surroundings. A lot could be learnt from Tokyo?s success in transit operations even when one acknowledges the obvious difference in size and scope between Toronto and Tokyo. The Tokyo metropolis, with 35 million people, has the same demographic footprint as Canada. Still, lessons about the integrated transit systems and facilitating private rail companies to operate transit are important considerations because they inform the limited choice set of transit options that Canadians are forced to choose from.


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