Future Urban Transport: Learning from success and failure
All authors:
Hass-Klau, C.
Publication year: 2001
Published in:
VREF, Smaller Project 2000-01
Research theme: Policy and Planning, Public Transport
light rail systems, success, Freiburg, Zurich, Basel, Köln, Strasbourg, Hannover and Dusseldorf
Final Report
This book considers 24 light rail systems. They include examples of both long_established and completely new light rail networks, some widely agreed to be successful, others less so. The analysis investigates the reasons for the differences in success, including operational characteristics, the demographic and social context, and the complementary transport policies in place. “Success” is of course a multi_dimensional concept, and closely linked to the statement of objectives and aspirations. Underlying all these different considerations is a simple requirement that the system should be well used; unless a light rail system is capable of attracting a good number of passengers, it is difficult for it to contribute well to any of the broader objectives. According to six indicators we used to measure success, seven cities emerge as being particularly impressive as models namely Freiburg, Zurich, Basel, Köln, Strasbourg, Hannover and Dusseldorf. There is also interesting and important experiences in Rouen, Calgary and Portland. The most striking finding from our statistical analysis has been the relative importance of marketing through travel cards, city centre traffic restraint and light rail corridor density structure. The relative unimportance of physical features related to the performance of light rail vehicles and services is perhaps surprising. Our examination also revealed an interesting connection between ample city centre car parking and poor relative performance in light rail and public transport.
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VREF invites applications for research grants to support
projects to be implemented 2022 under the programme for “Mobility & Access in African Cities”.

Deadline: 15 September 2021

MOBILITY GRANT 2021- MAC-MG 2021PDF (pdf, 443.4 kB)

The VREF invites PhD students and advanced master students from Sub-Saharan African (SSA) universities to apply for a Mobility Grant (MG) to support a visit to another SSA university with up to SEK 25 000.


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CALL FOR NOMINATION FOR the Håkan Frisinger Award for Excellence in Transportation Research

The VREF invites universities located in Sweden to nominate candidates for The Håkan Frisinger Award (Håkan Frisingers pris till framstående transportforskare) and apply for a VREF Visiting Researcher Grant for the nominated candidate.

Closed on 2021-03-15.

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Lee Schipper Memorial Scholarships for Sustainable Transport and Energy Efficiency targets supporting the momentum of Lee Schipper’s contribution to the international policy dialogue in these fields.

This yearly award is aimed at supporting young individual researchers and students in is pursuance.

Call deadline: March 1, 2021 .


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Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas


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