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Too many operators?


Michael Schabas' suggestion (NCE 15 November) that the public transport structure in New York is nearly as complex as London's is a little difficult to sustain.

Based outside New York, New Jersey Transit integrates commuter rail services, but also co-operates with Metro North to provide upstate services parallel to the Hudson.

This ensures they are properly co-ordinated with services the other side of the river.

New Jersey Transit also runs the Newark and the Hudson light railways, both of which are being used to regenerate run down areas - exactly the same model used for the Docklands Light Railway.

In New York, the MTA runs the subway system plus three commuter rail operations - the Metro North, Long Island Railroad and the Staten Island Railroad. This is a position I would envy for London.

The Port Authority runs the bridges and tunnels surrounding Manhattan and also two metro routes across the Hudson (one currently suspended).

Bob Kiley was actually quite kind in talking about 12 franchise operations. This refers to the main commuter franchises and the two airport links.

If we count all the rail operators in London including Scotrail, which operates into Euston, the number is 22. This is probably more than the number of passenger rail operators in the whole of the US.

Ian Brown, managing director of rail services, Transport for London, Windsor House, 4250 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0TL

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