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ITSP participants are underwritten by TCRP Proj- INTRODUCTION ect J-03 funding. While each of the host cities has a unique story Each mission abroad focuses on a theme that encompassing different opportunities and challenges, encompasses a topic of concern in public trans- some common unifying themes also exist. In each portation. Cities are selected according to their city, improving individual mobility is a key policy ability to demonstrate leading-edge strategies and goal for the public transportation service providers. approaches to public transportation issues and The importance of reliable and affordable public trans- challenges as reflected in the study mission's over- port to provide individuals with access to jobs and arching theme. other destinations is one of the primary drivers of the The members of each study team are fully briefed investments that are being made in public transit in prior to departure. The intensive, professionally chal- general and, particularly, in fixed-guideway transit lenging, 2-week mission has three objectives: to systems in each of the cities. Implicitly or explicitly, afford team members the opportunity to expand their access to employment is recognized as being tanta- network of domestic and international public trans- mount to access to economic opportunity and growth. portation peers, to provide a forum for discussion of The pressures of urban growth and the related global initiatives and lessons learned in public trans- challenges and opportunities of serving suburban portation, and to facilitate idea-sharing and the pos- development with public transit are also issues com- sible import of strategies for application to trans- mon to each city. Istanbul and Cairo are looking to portation communities in the United States. Mission improve public transport service to suburban com- participants return home with ideas for possible appli- munities to support suburban development and eco- cation in their own communities. Participants are nomic growth and to reduce densities and conges- encouraged to share their international experience tion in the urban core. Johannesburg and Cape Town and findings with peers in the public transit commu- seek to improve public transport service to neigh- nity throughout the United States. borhoods that were established during apartheid and For additional information about the Inter- are home to blacks and disadvantaged populations national Transit Studies Program, please contact that historically have been underserved by transit Gwen Chisholm-Smith at TCRP (202-334-3246; and have been denied economic opportunities. or Kathryn Harrington-Hughes All four cities are experiencing positive economic at 443-385-0300 ( growth, and all are making substantive investments in public transit. In Johannesburg and Cape Town, ABOUT THIS DIGEST investments in bus rapid transit (BRT) have been embraced as a driver of economic growth, which will The following digest is an overview of a mis- provide the most cost-effective means to increase sion that explored how public transportation sys- mobility, mitigate the growth in traffic congestion, tems can be effective drivers of economic growth. and address the legacy of spatial dislocation of the The study mission investigated how transit invest- low-income labor force from jobs. Similar to many ments are linked to economic growth in the cities lower-density urban areas in the United States, tran- of Istanbul, Turkey; Cairo, Egypt; and Johannesburg sit investment is seen as an essential element in cre- and Cape Town, South Africa. The digest is based ating a more sustainable urban form. on individual reports provided by the mission team Istanbul's deployment of public transport as an members, and it reflects the observations of the economic development tool is primarily in response team members, who are responsible for the facts to tremendous economic and demographic forces. and accuracy of the data presented. The digest does This is in sharp contrast to U.S. policies, which largely not necessarily reflect the view of TCRP, TRB, the attempt to use public transportation as a means of National Academies, the American Public Trans- shifting--or inducing new--travel behavior. In Istan- portation Association (APTA), FTA, or Harrington- bul, Cairo, and Johannesburg, public transport is being Hughes & Associates. used as a tool to respond to and accommodate explo- A list of the study team members is included in sive demand for travel, thereby attempting to provide Appendix A. A list of the public transport agencies better access to jobs and services. and organizations with which the team met is included Transit investments also are being directed in Appendix B. towards mitigating the negative by-products of 2