Socio-economic and transport trends in India and the United States: A preliminary comparative study

Ram Pendyala, Ashish Verma, Karthik Konduri, Bhargava Sana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The demand for travel is growing very rapidly in developing nations around the world. Increasing population, standards of living, vehicle ownership, massive infrastructure investments, and economic and recreational opportunities are just some of the factors contributing to increases in travel demand. While the rate of increase in travel demand may begin to slow in some developed economies of the world, the rapidly developing economies (such as China and India) are just beginning to experience the rapid increases in travel demand that the developed economies experienced several decades ago. Thus, there are challenges and issues in the development of multimodal transport systems, understanding of travel behavior and drivers of growth in travel demand, and deployment of advanced analysis tools that are common to both the developed and developing economy contexts. Resource and data constraints, as well as workforce training and development issues, confront transportation professionals both in developed and rapidly developing environments. At the same time, there are socioeconomic, cultural, and demographic differences that persist across geographical contexts. This paper highlights some of the socio-economic and transport trends and conditions in India and the United States to shed light on differences and similarities between the two contexts. The paper highlights the trajectory of travel demand in the two contexts with a view to identify potential strategies that a rapidly developing nation such as India can deploy to accommodate growth in a sustainable way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-146
Number of pages26
JournalTransportation Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2009


  • Comparative study
  • Developing economies
  • Socio-economic trends
  • Travel demand
  • United states and india

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transportation


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