London at dawn. Crowds of office workers are leaving the City Thameslink station and walking westward toward the heart of London’s financial district. This train station is part of the almost €8 billion Thameslink Programme, which will link northern and southern London and significantly reduce road traffic in this metropolis. The most important measures that are being implemented for this route, which is one of the busiest railroad lines in Europe, are the creation of additional stops and improved timetables.
By strengthening local public transportation in this way, infrastructure investments such as Thameslink could potentially prevent the imminent gridlock of road traffic and thus significantly reduce emissions. The project is being implemented as a public-private partnership (PPP) in which the provider of financing solutions, Siemens Financial Services (SFS), is a shareholder.
Such PPPs are important constructs that are making the building and operation of new transportation infrastructures possible. That’s because infrastructure projects are expensive, so that a joint effort is often needed in order to implement them. A McKinsey report estimates that a total of $49 trillion will have to be invested in infrastructure projects worldwide between 2016 and 2030 in order to accommodate expected population growth rates. A large portion of these investments will be made in cities. According to Navigant Research, a market research company, this market will grow by about 10 percent annually in the years ahead, from $40 billion in 2017 to around $95 billion in 2026.