The plans, which are being developed on behalf of the Mayor by Transport for London (TfL), could see the Mayor take control of all suburban commuter rail services in London. Seventy per cent of all rail journeys are made either to or from London.
A London Regional Rail Authority would oversee integrated planning of the London suburban rail network alongside the capital's Tube, bus and road system. The benefits include:
Speaking ahead of the 'Rail and a Growing London' conference, Bob Kiley said:
"TfL was created to provide London with a fully integrated transport network. Our bid, under the Government's rail review, proposes just that. We should all seize this opportunity to put joined-up thinking into practice and make a difference to passenger journeys.
"TfL has been able to turn around the bus services in the Capital, delivering the best services London has seen for over a generation. If given the opportunity, we would use the same principles and world-class management to deliver the best possible services for rail passengers travelling in and through London."
Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone said:
"A London rail authority will allow us to integrate the railways with Tube and bus services and raise service standards and the upkeep and security of stations. It would mean that we can start to bring major transport improvements to the large parts of London not covered by the Tube network. If we start with a shadow form of running the London rail authority changes can start to be made relatively fast.
"The Government has recognised that our plans for a London Regional Rail Authority are practical, and I look forward to working in partnership with the DfT, TfL, SRA and the rail industry to take this forward.
"A London Regional Rail Authority would enable us to bring the kind of improvements seen on London's bus network and through the congestion charge to all of those Londoners who depend on the rail network."