Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Public Affairs/International Relations

First Advisor

Robert Weiner

Second Advisor

Samuel J. Barkin

Third Advisor

Michael Ahn


This paper focuses on national passenger rail policies and the effect on investment, ridership, and congestion. Analysis is conducted of national passenger rail policies across three countries. Research consists of nation-specific passenger rail policies to include administrative structure, regulatory structure, and specific examples of regulation. Further analysis includes the matter of standardized global regulations, whether or not global regulations are beneficial, possible, and if any type of body exists that is able to develop such regulations. Additional passenger rail research includes the levels of infrastructure investment, annual ridership, and automobile congestion. The following three countries are researched and analyzed: the United States (U.S.), Germany, and Japan. From this research, conclusions are drawn with regard to the effect national passenger rail policy has on investment, ridership, and congestion. Administrative and regulatory recommendations are provided that help spur investment, increase ridership, and may reduce congestion. These conclusions and recommendations suggest a non-governmental body should be established to standardize the process of regulation development and standardize the resulting regulations. The establishment of a non-governmental body to develop passenger rail regulations, and the changes to administrative structures will lead to increased investment and ridership, and may reduce auto congestion.


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