Mumbai and São Paulo are mega metropolitan regions of the BRICs and economic engines of their respective countries. Both have populations of approximately 20 million inhabitants and serious problems of mobility and accessibility to jobs, leisure and health and education facilities because transport infrastructure and particularly rail-based urban mass transit is lacking. This paper discusses the issues faced by planners in both mega metropolitan regions, the performance of existing rail operating agencies and their impact on the modal split of the cities. It questions how central government authorities did not facilitate much earlier the quicker development of these networks in their economic growth engines. It discusses strategic issues and potential solutions to extend these networks quickly particularly when there are funds available. It draws lessons which might be useful for other similar mega metropolitan regions of the world.
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