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London Transport commissioner Bob Kiley says (NCE 1 November) that Tokyo and Hong Kong each have one metro service.

In fact, Hong Kong has two metro operators, Kowloon Canton Rail Corporation and Mass Transit Rail Corporation, and the latter is now privatised and listed on the stock exchange. Tokyo has the Toei and Eidan metro systems, and six private commuter rail companies.

The New York area, Mr Kiley's home, has the New York City and Port Authority Trans Hudson subway operators.

There are separate systems, more in the nature of light rail, serving Staten Island, Newark, and the Jersey waterfront.

There are also three quite separate commuter rail companies.

He has no basis to claim that having 12 franchise operators in London is 'ungainly' for management or safety reasons.

London has through ticketing between all systems, which is not yet the available in New York. It is natural for Mr Kiley to want to control everything but the case has yet to be made that it would actually lead to improvements.

Michael Schabas, transport consultant, London, michael. schabas@blueyonde r. co. uk

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