SOURCE: Frost & Sullivan

March 29, 2011 04:19 ET

Asia Pacific Urban Rail Market Revenues to Reach US$ 90 Billion in 2020, Says Frost & Sullivan

Mumbai, Shanghai & Ho Chi Minh City Top Three Cities for Urban Rail Investment

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA--(Marketwire - March 29, 2011) - Frost & Sullivan expects the Asia Pacific urban rail market to reach US$90 billion in 2020, growing 5-6 per cent annually from an estimated US$50 billion in 2010, as governments and the private sector pour in funds to build new rail lines.

Mr. Ralph Yew, Consultant, Transportation & Logistics Practice, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan said that urban rail transportation in Asia Pacific is currently in the growth phase, compared to Western Europe and United States.

"The region has an interesting mix of countries with developed and developing urban rail infrastructure," he said, adding that Japan, Singapore and South Korea, to an extent, have a developed urban rail infrastructure while countries such as India, China, Vietnam are currently in the development phase in terms of rail infrastructure.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (, Growth Opportunities in Urban Rail Transportation in Asia Pacific (covering 10 Asia Pacific cities) -- Brisbane, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo -- finds that the market is estimated to have an urban rail passenger ridership of 10.66 billion in 2010, which is likely to increase to 15.35 billion in 2020.

If you are interested in more information on this study, please send an e-mail to Alice Chia, Corporate Communications, at, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, company e-mail address, company website, city, state and country.

Mr. Yew said that Tokyo is expected to have the highest number of urban rail passengers this year, at 3.17 billion while Seoul is expected to follow second with 1.99 billion passengers largely from the Seoul subway, MRT, LRT and high speed rail modes. He added that Mumbai's suburban rail network with 1.61 billion passengers will be in third position.

Mr. Yew said that Mumbai, Shanghai and Ho Chi Minh City will likely be the top three investment destinations for urban rail in the next 20 years. He added that the city of Mumbai is the most attractive destination for urban rail investments for both its metro rail segment and monorails that is likely to continue until 2020.

He said that Shanghai, with a population of over 20 million also offers significant opportunities to various rail technology companies due to its plans to build 20 metro lines within the next 10 years. Meanwhile, Ho Chi Minh City is another strong contender for investments in rail infrastructure development with the proposed 6 new rapid transit lines over 100km by 2020.

Mr. Yew said that chronic congestion is a major concern for each of the 10 cities covered in the study and the current public transportation system is heavily over utilized.

He added that urban rail projects planned by the cities are aimed at addressing the existing congestion issues and ease public movement across the city, especially the central business districts (CBD).

"These projects are also aimed at having a seamless public transport system in place, linking diverse suburbs and CBD areas in cities," said Mr. Yew.

Mr. Yew said that the private sector's support is important to drive the outcome for urban rail projects. He added that private sector participants largely channel their expertise in designing and building rail assets such as rolling stock, track-related components and signaling equipment.

"Private sector participants also act as operators and maintenance facilitators in certain countries in Asia Pacific. Specifically for MRT, LRT, Monorail or Tram systems, the private sector companies can also be owners / co-owners of the entire rail systems," said Mr. Yew.

He added that the private sector has also been initiating a strong business case for commercial and technical success in urban rail projects such as the privatization of the Hong Kong MRT and Singapore SMRT.

Mr. Yew said that the availability of infrastructure funding from domestic and international financial institutions is a crucial driver in realizing a strong revenue model to sustain operations and maintenance. He noted that funding for projects in the Asia Pacific region in the past decade for infrastructure development has increased multi-fold.

However, bureaucracy among government agencies for approval of land for urban rail projects, frequent opposition from non-ruling parties and slow decision making process are likely to cause unnecessary delays for rail projects, cautioned Mr. Yew.

He said that the shortage of experienced rail personnel in Asia Pacific cities due to strong demand for jobs in western countries has also been a critical factor in restraining the growth of the urban rail transportation market. Besides, courses and programs on rail technology and systems are not a common feature of universities in the Asia Pacific region, he added.

Growth Opportunities in Urban Rail Transportation in Asia Pacific is part of the Automotive & Transportation Growth Partnership Services program, which also includes research in the following markets: Passenger Vehicles Market in Vietnam, ASEAN Market for Navigation Systems, Passenger Vehicle Market in Thailand, Passenger Vehicle Market in Malaysia, and Passenger Vehicle Market in Indonesia, among others. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

Growth Opportunities in Urban Rail Transportation in Asia Pacific

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Contact Information

  • Media Contact:

    Alice Chia
    Corporate Communications - Asia Pacific
    Tel: +603-6204-5899