ISSUES2012 No.2
Editor’s Note: Along with the acceleration of urbanization, and automization as well, more and more Chinese cities, in particular the big ones, have to face the serious challenge of traffic congestion, and the development of public transportation, including the rail transit, has become an effective solution to this headachy problem. In the past decade, many Chinese cities carried out their ambitious program of rail transit construction and more projects will be done in the coming years with a huge number of investments, apart from the big costs for the operation of the rail transit. Undoubtedly, the reasonable financing is an important guarantee for the large-scale construction and efficient operation of rail transit in Chinese cities. If the funds came uniquely from the governments via financial appropriation, as it did before the 20th century, this would absolutely become a mission impossible. Therefore in the past years, a series of experiments were carried out, trying to broaden the funding sources for the large-scale construction of rail transit on the one hand and set up the mechanism for the efficient operation of rail transit on the other hand. Nowadays, more stakeholders are involved in the development of rail transit besides the governments. In terms of financing, the funding sources include not only the direct governmental investments by way of either financial appropriation or buying a share, but also the subsidies or interest discount from governments, bank loans, bonds and stocks, and direct foreign investment, etc. In terms of mechanism, the whole process of planning, construction, financing, and operation of rail transit development is divided into four phases, with each of them being under the jurisdiction of different sectors, including both the public and the private ones, while under the uniform supervision of the whole society. All these financial and institutional innovations have become the strong support to the current rapid development of rail transit in Chinese cities.

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