By Jean Pierre Cresci, Kevin Smeets and Laetitia Plisson, Forbes; September 24, 2019
Railroads have always been part of the urban landscape — from the suburban stations where commuters board for their daily ride into town, to the subways under the streets speeding people from one metro hotspot to the next. But urban mobility is changing rapidly with the influx of new travel modes and technologies that could potentially undermine the role of passenger rail and mass transit in cities.
Ridesharing is a harbinger of the challenge that lies ahead. Over the next decade, many cities will see the development of autonomous cars, drones, smart parking, and even an entire digitized and connected traffic management system. City planners need to anticipate how these new mobility solutions will coexist with mass transit, not attempt to replace it. Because moving forward, large cities will need modern passenger rail to remain a central part of their urban mass transit mix — or suffer the consequences.