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An analysis of rail transit investments in Turkey: are the expectations met?

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2009
Özgür, Özge
Rail transit investments require highest amount of investment costs of all modes and considering the high cost involved, it is particularly important that their performance justifies this high cost and that expectations from these investments are met. Therefore, in the world, it has become an important field of research to study the performances of rail systems in order to assess whether these expectations are met. In Turkey, there is a growing interest in constructing rail transit systems in the cities. However, there has been limited number of studies on the performance of these investments. There are researches on individual systems; yet, there has not been a comprehensive, systematic and comparative evaluation of the rail transit experience of Turkish cities. It is not clear with what expectations these systems are built or whether these expectations are met. There seems to be an urgent need to study these rail investments, with a particular focus on their planning, investment objectives and outcomes. This thesis analyzes the expectations from the rail transit systems in Turkey and answers the question whether these expectations are met. In order to understand the objectives under the planning and decision making processes in the implementation of Turkish rapid rail transport investments, a sample group was selected among the cities currently operating rail transit systems: Đstanbul, Ankara, Đzmir and Bursa. The study sets the objectives in planning and implementing rail transit systems drawn by the answers in the semi-structured interviews. It compares the expectations with the actual outcomes. As the primary indicators of performance, cost and ridership forecast and outcome data are also collected and considered in the comparison. It is found that the main success in all case study cities was the increase in public transport usage after the opening of the rail transit systems. On the other hand, systems performed rather poor in terms of other expectations, such as attaining ridership forecasts, being built within budget, creating an integrated public transport system, traffic reduction, air pollution reduction, improvement of city image, etc. Hence there is a gap between expectations and outcomes.