In 1863, the Metropolitan Railway of what came to be known as the London Underground successfully opened as the world’s first subway. Its high ridership spawned interest in additional links. Entrepreneurs secured funding and then proposed new lines to Parliament for approval, though only a portion were actually approved. While putative rail barons may have conducted some economic analysis, the final decision lay with Parliament, which did not have available modern transportation economic or geographic analysis tools. How good were the decisions that Parliament made in approving Underground Lines? This paper explores the role accessibility played on the decision to approve or reject proposed early London Tube Schemes. It finds that maximizing accessibility to population (highly correlated with revenue and ridership) largely explains Parliamentary approvals and rejections.
Levinson, D., Giacomin, D., and Badsey-Ellis, A. (2016) Accessibility and the choice of network investments in the London Underground. Journal of Transport and Land Use 9(1) 131-150.
Nexus Working Papers;000124
Levinson, David M; Giacomin, David J; Badsey-Ellis, Anthony.
Accessibility and the choice of network investments in the London Underground.
University of Minnesota.
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