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Transportation Systems in International Cities

Every city has different characteristics that help shape transportation systems. They differ in geography, demographics, economy, safety, technology, and more. However, the success of transportation systems is often analyzed by five components: availability, affordability, efficiency, convenience, and sustainability. These components play a role in the experiences that people have when using transportation systems. 

When looking at the availability component, there are other things to consider. A city needs to have different transit methods, such as public and private systems, bike-share programs, rideshare, and open to the public. When discussing the affordability component, it is essential to address the payment method, cost, and barriers to attaining these transportation services. The efficiency component includes looking at public and private transit systems and their commuting time for each. Convenience focuses on travel comfort and often strives towards creating a better experience for commuters. Lastly, sustainability addresses safety and environmental impact. 

Cities, such as Singapore, Paris, and Hong Kong, ranked the top cities in urban mobility. This is because they have a balance between the five components, making their transit systems successful. Singapore strives to address all five elements, but they focus more on affordability. In 2013, the Singapore transit system took new measures to make fares affordable by creating discounts for low wage workers and free travel for children. Hong Kong transit systems are ideal for tourists because they have different methods of public transportation. 

On a larger scale, every city is different; therefore, their transportation systems will function differently. The success of transit systems for each city revolves around the five components: availability, affordability, efficiency, convenience, and sustainability. 

Pokotilo, Vadim. “Report: Elements of Success: Urban Transportation Systems of 24 Global Cities.” ISPI, Italian Institute for International Political Studies , 25 Feb. 2019,

Zhu, Melissa. “Singapore's Public Transport System among Best in the World: McKinsey Report.” CNA, 21 Aug. 2018,

Padukone, Neil. “The Unique Genius of Hong Kong's Public Transportation System.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 10 Sept. 2013,

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