Competences of ministries
The responsibility for the railway was in the hands of the Ministry of Transport (Un’yu-sho) in the post-war period, which inherited administrative roles of the former Ministry of Railway. The Ministry of Transport was also responsible for maritime and air transport and thus for seaports and airports. The bus transport and tourism policies were also under the responsibility of this ministry.
The responsibility for the road infrastructure was in the hands of the Ministry of Construction (Kensetsu-sho) in the post-war regime. This ministry was also responsible for the management of rivers, housing, urban issues (e.g. sewage), because the ministry was created by dividing the former Ministry of Internal Affairs into several specialized ministries.
These two ministries were merged in 2001 together with the National Land Agency and the Hokkaido Development Agency, which were settled directly under the Cabinet Office. This was carried out as a part of the organizational restructuring of all of the ministries, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) was established. For the first time, all competences related to transport and land development came under one roof.
National-level spatial plans and its relevance to transport
Japan’s nationwide spatial and regional planning was officially set as the National General Development Plan (Zenkoku Sougou Kaihatsu Keikaku) in the post-war period. This is often referred to with its abbreviation Zenso. This scheme, which is stipulated by the National Land Development Act, started in 1950, and until 1998 five Zensos were officially approved with an approximately 10-year interval. The responsibility was first in the hands of Economic Planning Agency (Keizai-kikaku-cho, EPA) until it was handed over to the National Land Agency (Kokudo-cho, NLA), which was newly established in 1972. Both EPA and NLA were directly settled under the Cabinet Office.
A new scheme was introduced in 2005 and the National Land Formation Plan (Kokudo Keisei Keikaku, NLFP) replaced the roles of the Zenso. The focus was officially shifted from quantitative growth to a qualitative improvement. The first and the second NLFPs were approved in 2008 and in 2015 respectively. The 2015 one is the latest one at the time of this research. MLIT is in charge of these.
The main goals and characteristics of the five Zensos as well as the two existing NLFPs are summarized in Tables 1 and 2 respectively. As seen in the tables, in the later Zensos as well as National Land Formation Plans, the key development method and strategy tend to become fairly abstract. Of note, the fifth Zenso is titled differently; however, the legal basis, the responsible governing body, and the planning schemes of this fifth Zenso are unchanged from the previous ones. There is a document called “Grand Design of National Spatial Development towards 2050, Japan - Creation of a country generating diverse synergies among regions” published in 2014 by MLIT; this looks somewhat similar to NLFP, but practically this is a first draft for the second NLFP published in the following year, and thus does not count as an NLFP.
The Zenso typically indicates the general goals of transport infrastructure development, practically serving as an overarching transport masterplan. The Zenso often indicate routes or locations of important high-speed and conventional railway lines, expressways, ports, and airports to be constructed or upgraded within the next ten years. More detailed planning is carried out for each of the transport modes as seen in the following sections. The newer Zensos also deal with intermodal and multimodal transport briefly, although this does not have a well-structured planning scheme and the extent of the realization is limited.
Planning of transport infrastructure
Railway in industrialized Japan - a brief review of the history
The first railway in Japan constructed by British engineers went into service in 1872, four years after the Meiji Restoration, as a state-owned railway between Tokyo (Shimbashi) and Yokohama. The network was gradually extended towards the west and to the north, partly by private companies. The 1067 mm (3 ft. 6 in.) narrow gaugeFootnote 1 was adopted and this eventually became the standard gauge in Japan. Much of the main lines that were privately built and operated were nationalized between 1906 and 1907. Further nationalization of smaller local private railways took place during World War II. The first high-speed line, known as Shinkansen, between Tokyo and Osaka was built by 1964 and it is considered to be the first high-speed railway in the world that regularly runs at over 200 km/h [9,10,11].
The first Railway Construction Act came into force in 1892. This Act listed 33 main lines in it to be constructed to connect major cities on Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu islands. For Hokkaido, a separate Hokkaido Railway Construction Act was put into force in 1896 for the same purpose. These acts were integrated and revised in 1922, and the list of the railway lines to be constructed (both main and regional railway lines) was moved to its annex. This annex was gradually extended over the time, and the Act itself was in force until 1987 when the Japan National Railway (JNR) was privatized and divided into six regional Japan Railways (JR) and one freight railway company. Until then, the above-mentioned legislatives had served as a sort of a blueprint or a kind of a masterplan of the conventional railway. Of note, in the later decades, it was considered to be fairly unrealistic to complete the listed railway as the extensive plan was made before the diffusion of automobiles. As such, it served more or less as a sort of a wish list rather than a realistic masterplan in the later decades. Since this Act went out of force in 1987, there is no comparable blueprint or a masterplan for the conventional railway at the national level.
Most of the listed lines that were actually constructed were under the management of the Ministry of Railway until the 1940s, then under Japan National Railway (JNR) and Japan Railways (JR) after privatization, but a few exceptions exist. The construction of the listed railway lines was never complete. Rather, since the 1970s, closures of deficit-making regional railway lines of JNR have been sought. In the late 1980s, many such deficit-making regional railways were closed or transferred to newly-established local railway companies, often as joint ventures of the public and private stakeholders.
The opening of Shinkansen high-speed railways (see the next subsection) has affected the conventional railway largely since the 1990s. The ownership and operations of many of the conventional railway lines parallel to the Shinkansen lines that went into service after the 1990s were transferred to newly-established regional railway companies, often established as publicly-owned enterprises or public-private joint ventures, because maintaining both conventional and high-speed lines is thought to create a severe financial burden for Japan Railways. As a matter of course, these kinds of publicly-owned or public-private enterprises face financial difficulties. This transfer scheme is based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of the government and the JR in the early 1990s.
High-speed railway (Shinkansen)
The first high-speed railway between Tokyo and Osaka went into service in 1964 (Tokaido-Shinkansen). This was planned as a measure to double or even treble the capacity of the existing conventional railway line. This new line was built avoiding much of the residential and commercial areas along the existing conventional line, enabling quick construction and eventually making it suitable for a high-speed operation. It was designed technically independently from the conventional railway: the line was built with the 1435 mm international standard gauge, electrified with 25 kV AC, and structure and loading gauges larger than one used for the conventional railway. It was easy to justify the construction with this kind of argument given the rapid economic growth and the concentration of industry and population along the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka corridor. The same argument was applied to the extension of this line to the west, Sanyo Shinkansen from Osaka via Hiroshima to Fukuoka (Hakata), which commenced service in 1972 (Osaka to Okayama) and in 1975 (Okayama to Fukuoka) [9, 24].
Soon after the opening of the Tokaido-Shinkansen, many ideas about nationwide Shinkansen networks were published, such as the one by JNR and the ruling party LDP. The planning of a high-speed railway network was brought into the Nationwide Shinkansen Railway Network Development Act in 1970 (Zenkoku Shinkansen-Tetsudo Seibi-hou). The objectives of this act are clearly stated in its Article 1 as follows:
This Act, considering the importance of the role of the high-speed passenger transport network contributing to the general and universal development of the country, aims to construct a nationwide railway network by Shinkansen in order to develop the national economy and to extend the life field of the citizen as well as to contribute to regional developments. (Article 1 “Purpose” of Zenkoku Shinkansen-Tetsudo Seibi-hou, translated by the author).
As such, the purpose of the Shinkansen high-speed railway already changed soon after the first line’s opening from a measure for the capacity increase to a national development tool.
In this Act, the Minister of Transport are to publish the Base Plans to define the routes of Shinkansen railways whose constructions are to be started (Kihon-keikaku, Base Plans hereafter), which were published four times between 1971 and 1973. These Base Plans indicate approximate routes to be constructed as high-speed linesFootnote 2 and thus the Act and the Base Plans together serve as a blueprint of the Shinkansen high-speed railway network.
Based on these Base Plans, more detailed Development Plans (Seibi-keikaku) are to be made. These are detailed implementation plans of each line, sometimes subdivided into several sections, and has to be agreed upon by the implementing body and the envisaged operator. Once a Development Plan is approved, a Construction Implementation Plan (Kouji-jisshi-keikaku) is made and the construction is budgeted. Six out of the seven routes defined in the first three Base Plans are either completed, under construction or in planning at the time of writing this paper as shown in Table 3. The one connecting Tokyo’s main train station and Narita Airport, which is listed in the first Base Plan, is discontinued. Eleven other routes are listed in the fourth Base Plan, while, except for the 2nd Tokyo-Osaka route which will be constructed as the first JR Maglev, no detailed Development Plans have been made. This fourth Base Plan appears to be a sort of a wish list rather than a realistic master plan, similarly to the case of the conventional railway .
In the recent decades, the priority and the amount of investment for the constructions of new lines, as well as the financing framework and the timing of service inauguration are made in a form of a memorandum of understandings between the government (practically MLIT) and the ruling party. As the constellation of the two counterparts shows, the political will of the ruling party, which is often LDP, is much reflected. Although this is not in a legally-binding scheme, practically this sets the framework of the Shinkansen construction for the next decade. These are made so that the investment of approximately the next ten to fifteen years are framed, and thus this serves itself as the implementation plan for the high-speed railway network. Since 1990, at least five such agreements that specify these points have been made [24, 26].
Road in industrialized Japan – A brief review of the history
The base of the intercity road network was formed during the Edo period (1603–1868) well before the country’s industrialization. During this period, intercity roads were designated mainly for horse-riding, walkers and a type of litter or palanquin known as Kago and Norimono, both carried by persons. Differently from Western countries, Japan did not experience a time when the horse carriage was widespread – in fact, the Tokugawa government restricted the use of wagons and carts until 1862 (see e.g. ). During the first phase of industrialization in the Meiji era, the first Road Act was approved in 1896 and technical standards were established in the following year. However, the focus of the intercity road was set more to military rather than civil transport purposes, and the railway played a more important role as the main means of intercity transport both for passengers and freight until the time soon after the end of World War II. The development of the road as a transport infrastructure took place primarily in the post-war period [6, 28] After World War II, with a few revisions, Japan’s roads are categorized into the ones designated for general traffic (Douro-hou, “Road Act 1952” hereafter), and the other ones such as roads for forestry. The ones under the Road Act 1952 are classified into the following four groups :
Expressways: Roads making the key part of the nationwide network and connecting regions that are politically, economically, or culturally important;
National Highways: Roads making the nationwide trunk road network together with the expressways;
Prefectural Roads: Roads making the regional trunk road network;
Municipal Roads: Road within municipality.
The other ones that do not fall under the Road Act 1952 are private roads, forest roads, agricultural roads, port roads, park roads, touristic roads under Road Transportation Act 1951 (Douro-Unso-hou 1951), and pathways such as trekking routes . All of these are designated for local transport and thus this paper does not deal with them.
National Highways (Kokudo, conventional roads)
National Highways (Kokudo) in Japan is the conventional type of intercity roads. Already in the 1870s, the historical nationwide road network that had been established by the previous feudal era was designated as National Highways by a governmental directive. Several major revisions were made before the end of World War II, such as when the first Road Act 1896 went into force, a major revision in 1919 as well as some other minor revisions of the network [6, 28].
In the post-war period, the new Road Act 1952 went into force and the National Highways are to be designated by the Minister of Construction (today by the MLIT-Minister). As the focus of the nationwide network shifted gradually to the expressways, there is neither a master plan nor other plans of this kind at the time of research .
A separate Act on Emergency Measures for Road Developments (Douro Kinkyu-Seibi Sochi-hou) came into force in 1958. This act mainly aims to give a financial framework for the new construction and upgrading of roads.Footnote 3 Pursuant to this Act, Road Development Five-year Plans were made and came into force. These five-year plans indicated policy goals of road development and the investment amounts for road construction projects. This act also established a framework to finance such rapid construction of the road. In 2003, it was merged into the Priority Plan for Infrastructure Development (Shakai-Shihon Seibi Juten-Keikaku) together with other types of civil infrastructures. The most recent plan was published in 2015 [5, 6].
The development, extension and upgrade of the roads was largely funded from the so-called Road Designated Financing (Douro Seibi Tokubetsu Kaikei), which was initiated in 1958, extended step-by-step, and discontinued in 2009. The major source of this budget was the taxation on fuel and vehicle ownership. In the earlier years, this was solely used for the road, while in the later years, the budget was also used for various types of measures related to urban road traffic, such as the construction of the underground or viaduct railways to eliminate level crossings, as well as tramways and underground parking .
The concept of Expressways first appeared in a government document in 1943 during World War II, when the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which was responsible for the road then, published the National Automobile Highway Plan (Zenkoku Jidousha Kokudo Keikaku) of 5490 km, which is believed to be much influenced by the concept of German Autobahns . Some feasibility studies were carried out, but the plan was abandoned in the next year [5, 6].
The planning in the post-war period was brought into a legislative scheme under the Act on Construction of Trunk Expressway for National Land Development 1957 (Kokudo Kansen Jidosha-do Kensetsu-hou). This act’s aims are defined as follows:
This act aims to open high-speed trunk expressways throughout the country and to promote the constructions of new urban and agricultural areas. A new nationwide high-speed road network enables universal development of the country, promotes innovative industries, extends the life field of the citizens, and is an inevitable basis for the industrial development. (Article 1, Act on Construction of Trunk Expressway for National Land Development (Kokudo Kansen Jidosha-do Kensetsu-hou), translated by the author.)
As such, the expressways in Japan were planned as a tool of industrial developments from the beginning. The entire legislative structure related to the expressway today is fairly complicated: the main point is that there are four categories of expressways nowadays as listed below :
National Highway parallel to planned Expressways (“A’-Routes”);
High-standard National Highway (“B-Routes”);
Roads connecting Honshu and Shikoku;
The concept of these four types appeared in the fourth Zenso in 1987 for the first time (See Table 1). These four groupings serve as a blueprint for the nationwide expressways of approximately 14,000 km. However, each of them are based on different masterplans as summarized below .
The A-Routes consists of those designated by the Expressway Act 1957 (Kousoku-Jidosha-Kokudo hou) and the Expressway Routing Directive 1957 (Kousoku-Jidosha-Kokudo-no Rosen-o Shitei-suru Seirei), together with several special routes such as ones connecting airports to existing expressways. First, in 1957, approximately 7600 km of the routes were planned. It was gradually extended and the fourth Zenso defined 11,520 km of the network (see Fig. 2). This plan is still legally binding at the time of writing this paper. Similar to the case of the high-speed railway, Base Plans for each of the lines are made based on this blue print, and then more detailed Development Plans are made. As of 2014, Base Plans for 10,623 km have been made, and 9428 km out of them already have Development Plans. Among them, 8638 km are in service in 2014 .
In principle, the construction and the maintenance of the A-Route expressways are first budgeted with designated debts and support from the national budget, and then the income from the toll is used for the redemption. Thus, at large, the expressways’ financing is separate from the aforementioned Road Development Designated Budget. In recent cases of rural A-Route expressways from which enough toll revenue is not expected to cover the maintenance cost, 75% of the construction cost and all of the maintenance cost are financed directly by the state.Footnote 4 At the time of the research, about 8.8% (834 km) of the A-Route expressways in service or with Development Plans is financed under this scheme. This new financial scheme was introduced in 2003 in line with the “privatization” of the public expressway enterprise (Japan Highway Public Corporation) into three government-owned joint-stock companies (collectively known as NEXCOs) and Japan Expressway Holding and Debt Repayment Agency,Footnote 5 which took place in 2005. However, it is worth highlighting that this reform focused on financial frameworks, and did not fundamentally change how the expressway in the country is planned .
The B-Routes are constructed as National Highways and specifically designated as Expressways – this means that the road is built in line with a technical standard of the expressway (curve, gradient, interchanges, etc.) and as a vehicle-only road. The major difference between the A and B routes are the administrative process and their financing schemes. Administratively, the A-Routes are listed in the Act on Construction of Trunk Expressway for National Land Development, while the B-Routes are only designated by the minister, and the authorization of the Base and Development plans are at a different level.Footnote 6 Financially, the A-Route’s construction costs are basically covered by the income mainly from the toll and the support from the government’s budget, while the B-Routes’ construction costs are covered fully by the government’s and prefectures’ budget. 2480 km are planned in the fourth Zenso.
An exception is the A’-Routes: this is constructed as a part of the National Highway network, with a perspective to be integrated into the expressway network later. This is mostly used to construct new tunnels or bypassing routes near large cities.
The decision to be made for the Base Plan and the Development Plan are as shown in Table 4. The length of expressways in the blueprint set by the 4th Zenso, the Base plan, the Development Plan and km in service are summarized in Fig. 2.
The waterway, both inland and on the sea, was the most important freight transport mode before the appearance of the railway in Japan. Shipbuilding has seen its own development and Japanese ships were widely used (Benzai-sen, also known as Sengoku-bune) until the Edo and early Meiji Periods for domestic freight transport. Since the seventeenth century, along with the development of the market economy, off-shore waterways and seaports along the coast were gradually developed. The western routes (so-called Kitamae-bune, connecting Osaka and Hokuriku to Hokkaido via the Seto Inland Sea and Kanmon Straits), which was run by shipowner-merchants, saw a particular prosperity (See e.g. ). After industrialization in the late nineteenth century, the railway and later the truck overtook the role as the main mode for long-distance freight transport. However, around 40% to 45% of the goods within Japan are still transported by ship (based on ton-km). In the last decades, as Japan increased its imports and exports and along with the globalization of the economy, the role of international bulk, Ro-Ro and container transport is becoming more important.
It is worth noting that there is a clear distinction between transport seaports and fishery seaports in Japan today. These two are planned, developed and managed separately under separate legislative frameworks, and thus they are not to be confused. In this section, the transport seaports are dealt with.Footnote 7
Nowadays, Japan’s ports are categorized into the following five groups. Almost all of them are on the sea, with a few exceptional regional ports on rivers and lakes, and are managed by prefectures or municipalities.
International Strategic Ports: International container-hub ports (5 ports)
International Gateway Ports: Ports serving as international gateways both for bulk and container transport (18 ports)
Important Ports: Ports serving mainly domestic sea routs (102 ports)
Regional Ports: Other ports mainly serving regional uses, such as ferries connecting small islands with the mainland (808 ports). Among them, 35 ports are designated as Emergency Ports, which serve as a shelter in case of natural disaster (e.g. tsunami, typhoon).
So-called Article-56 Ports: Exceptional ports without land-side areas designated by prefectures’ governors. Either a very small port or a seaside area to be developed as a port in the future.
As is the case with transport infrastructure other than railways, Port Development 5-year Plans (Kouwan Seibi Gokanen Keikaku) was regularly made, and functioned as an indication of the financial investments required to upgrade, expand or newly construct transportation ports. This was discontinued in 2003 and integrated into the aforementioned Priority Plan for Infrastructure Development.
The Port Act (Kouwan hou) stipulates the Basic Policy and Objectives for Developments, Utilization and Maintenance of Ports and Key Sea Lanes to be prepared and approved by the MLIT. The latest version published in 2011 indicates the following points . Similarly to the case of the latest National Land Formation Plans, it is written rather in an abstract manner:
Logistics chain for international industrial competitiveness and supporting citizens’ lives;
Contribution to the safety of the citizens;
Creating favorable port environments;
Creation of vivid and beautiful port space and appropriate management;
Promotion of” new ocean policy” for a” new ocean nation”;
Efficient and effective undertaking of projects in response to stock-rich society.
Pursuant to the Port Act, a Port Plan (Kouwan-Keikaku) is made by each port authority (prefecture or municipalities). This is a long-term strategic plan focusing on each single port, and it indicates the implementation of infrastructure, spatial planning, and environment protection.
Civil aviation in Japan was mainly developed in the post-war period, as is the case in many other developed countries. During the period of occupation between 1945 and 1952, matters related to aviation were under the control of the Allies [7, 8, 31].
In 1956, the Airport Development Act (Kuuko-Seibi hou) came into force and this is the basis for airport planning today. This aimed solely at the construction and extension of airports. It was reorganized in 2008 and became the Airport Act, which aims to “improve the benefits of airport users in harmonization with the environment by defining the rules for the effective and efficient placement and management of the airport, as well as to strengthen a industry and tourism and to contribute to vitalizing regional economies”. In this new Act, a clear distinction is made between “airport” serving scheduled passenger flights and other ones as “aerodrome” serving private aircrafts only for the first time .
Under the Airport Development Act 1956, airports were categorized into the following three categories, and this classification stipulates the managing body and the basic financial framework for the key facilities for air traffic (e.g. runways and taxiways, air traffic control system, etc.):
Category I: international airport serving the major international civil aviation network; managed by the state or designated airport companies; fully funded by the state;
Category II: airport serving the trunk civil air routes within Japan, managed by the state; 2/3 funded by the state and 1/3 funded by the prefecture and/or municipality in which it is located;
Category III: airport serving regional air traffic; managed by prefecture or municipality; 1/2 funded by the state and rest funded by the prefecture and/or municipality in which it is located.
Hub Airports: airports serving as network hubs, subcategorized into the following three;
Airports managed by the state (19 airports); 2/3 funded by the state and 1/3 funded by the prefecture and/or municipality in which it is located, with the exception of Tokyo-Haneda which is fully funded by the state;
Airports managed by designated airport companies (4 airports: Tokyo-Narita, Osaka-Kansai, Osaka-Itami, Nagoya-Chubu); Funding organized by respective airport companies;
Airports managed by regional governments (5 airports); 55% funded by the state, 45% funded by the prefecture in which it is located;
Regional airports: airports serving regional air traffic i.e. former Category III airports managed by regional governments (54 airports); 1/2 funded by the state and rest funded by the prefecture and/or municipality in which it is located.
Shared airports: airports managed by Japan Self-Defense Air Force, US Air Force or US Marine Corps also serving civil aviation (8 airports); 2/3 funded by the state and 1/3 funded by the prefecture and/or municipality in which it is located;
Other airports: airports not designated by the Airport Act, serving private aircraft and/or small commuter aircraft; no funding scheme defined in the Airport Act.
As is the case of other transport infrastructure other than the railways, since 1967, Airport Development 5-year Plans (Kuukou-seibi Gokanen keikaku, later it became 7-year Plans) were approved every five (later seven) years. This was discontinued in 2003 and integrated into the aforementioned Priority Plan for Infrastructure Development. As is the case of the other transport modes, these Development 5-year Plans indicate the monetary amount of the investment. The short-term objectives are listed (up to 5 years) and these are based on the predicted amount of passengers in air transport, and the plan is made to increase the capacity of the airports to meet such estimated demands. As such, the objectives were set in a demand-driven manner.
For example, the main objectives of the second 5-year plan designated for 1970 to 1975 were (1) continuous construction of (already approved) new airports in Tokyo and Osaka (today’s Narita and Kansai Airports); (2) further development of other airports (Tokyo, Osaka, Others); (3) further installation of navigation systems; and (4) promotion of noise-mitigation measures. The planned investments for each airport are listed in the Plan .
In the first phase of the airport developments, the (aforementioned) Port Development Designated Fund was used. Since 1970, in parallel to the introduction of the 5-year development plan, an Airport Development Designated Fund was established. This was integrated in 2008 as a part of the Infrastructure Development Designated Fund. This is funded by the airport fee and the air traffic control fee paid by the airlines, the tax on the aircraft fuel, as well as the contribution from the general budget and loans .
Basic act on transport policy 2013 and basic plan on transport policy
In December 2013, the Basic Act on Transport Policy (Koutsu Seisaku Kihon-hou) was approved by the Diet and came into force immediately. This new law is expected to fill the gap between the National Land Formation Plan and Infrastructure Development Priority Plan that is liaised with the Infrastructure Development Designated Fund. It constitutes the basic transport policy, and in line with this the MLIT is to publish a Basic Plan on Transport Policy (Koutsu Seisaku Kihon-keikaku) [33, 34].
The Act constitutes the five key policy focuses of transport, namely (1) to fulfill the basic needs of the citizens, (2) and transport’s roles in society and economy as well as in case of natural disaster, (3) reducing environment impacts, (4) division of roles among various transport modes and collaboration among them (multi-modal transport), and (5) safety.
Pursuant to this Act, the first Basic Plan on Transport Policy was published in 2014. The three pillars of it are :
Usable transport system enabling “socially rich” lives: restructuring the regional transport system in line with urban development, supporting the introduction of various transport services that match the needs of each region (e.g. bike-sharing schemes), (physical) barrier-freeness, and improvement of service level;
Establishing international and interregional passenger and freight transport systems as a basis of growth and prosperity: improvement of international transport network, increasing interregional passenger and freight transport, collaboration with tourism policy to enable 20 million foreign visitors to Japan per year, and exporting transport technologies and services;
Basis for sustainable and safe transport: resiliency for disasters and aging infrastructure, enforcing stable and safe service provision (of transport operators), education of professional human resources, and CO2 and energy reduction.
The Basic Plan set 93 quantitative key performance indicators, most of which are to be achieved by 2020 . Apart from the indicators that are related to safety and infrastructural resiliency, the focus of the indicators are still on the “increase” of passengers or similar, and they are mostly on an operational level (e.g. “70% of buses to be barrier-free by 2020”). Few measurable indicators are set on a strategic level, such as targeted modal shares, or a reduction of CO2, noise, pollutants or traffic accidents by modal shift.
There are some indicators with some characters related to strategy, but these tend to be often incomplete. For example, there are two indicators about a modal shift in freight transport on the list: “ton-km transported by railway from 18.7 billion ton-km in 2012 to 22.1 billion ton-km in 2020”, and “ton-km by domestic sea routes from 33.3 billion ton-km in 2012 to 36.7 billion ton-km in 2020”. However, no performance indicators regarding the freight transported on the road is set – thus these indicators cannot be used for evaluation of a freight modal shift because increased ton-km carried by rail and sea may just be a result of the total increase of the freight throughout the country. As such, there are several basic shortcomings in that the indicators are often operational rather than strategic, and some indicators are incomplete.
The three pillars as well as the detailed description in detail is much about policy measures that have already been implemented or that are to be started, as stated in its foreword. It does not have a character to be called masterplan or alike, which determines comprehensive or strategic development of the transport system of the country.