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e-Learning Course on Urban Rail Development

  • Job DurationedX
  • Job Duration7 weeks long, 2-3 hours a week
  • Job DurationFree Online Course (Audit)

Project detail


Rising urban populations are putting pressure on urban transportation systems, which must expand to meet growing mobility and accessibility needs in cities around the world. To serve this increasing demand for mobility without the congestion, air pollution, road safety, and social exclusion associated with motorization, many cities are looking to rapid transit systems to provide high-capacity and high-quality transportation that is economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. When appropriately planned and properly implemented as part of a larger public transportation network, urban rail systems can provide rapid urban mobility and enhance quality of life. Therefore, urban rail projects must be carefully approached as development projects.

This e-learning course is based on The Urban Rail Development Handbook, a recent publication from the Transportation and Digital Development Global Practice of the World Bank that brings together the expertise of World Bank staff and numerous international specialists to synthesize international “good practice” for the development of urban rail projects.

This course is organized into 7 modules that walk through critical considerations at each stage of project development, empowering you to ask the right questions and introducing you to the key tools available to answer them: system and corridor planning, preliminary design, detailed design, procurement and financing, construction, and operations and maintenance.


This course consists of 7 weeks.

Week 1: Introduction

This module, defines urban rail systems and other urban rapid transit investments and introduces the steps involved in developing an urban rail project.

Week 2: Deciding Whether to Develop Urban Rail

This module, discusses how to decide which rapid transit alternative is the most appropriate choice given the needs of all residents of the city. This module presents a sequence of six steps that objectively and transparently guide decision-makers from diagnostic study through the evaluation of transportation alternatives to making an informed decision on whether or not to develop an urban rail project. This module covers the first two steps of the project development process: system planning and corridor planning. We will lay out an objective and transparent process by which decision-makers can come to an informed choice on whether or not to develop an urban rail project

Week 3: Governance and Project Management

This module, outlines the key institutional roles involved in urban rail governance and explains the fundamentals of project and risk management to control project cost, schedule, and scope.

Week 4: Addressing Critical Impacts of Urban Rail Development

This module, discusses the many potential environmental and social impacts of urban rail development. It briefly introduces the tools needed to assess these impacts and incorporate them into project planning and design.

Week 5: Design and Optimization

This module, addresses the significant complexity involved in designing urban rail systems and discusses the role of internal staff and external experts in project optimization.

Week 6: Procurement and Financing

This module, considers the many procurement strategies available for urban rail projects as well as the different options for funding and financing them.

Week 7: Financial and Operational Sustainability and Resilience

This module, discusses long-term operations and maintenance of the urban rail system, including the importance of continual improvement in service and infrastructure resilience.

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