Returning Public Transport to State Control and Regulation? Evidence on Relative Effectiveness and Efficiency from the UK and Ireland.



Returning Public Transport to State Control and Regulation? Evidence on Relative Effectiveness and Efficiency from the UK and Ireland.

Authors

Austin Smyth, University of Hertfordshire, Luke Kelleher, University of Hertfordshire

Description

Examines the effectiveness of regulated public transport provision by benchmarking it against other deregulated and private transport systems.

Abstract

Returning Public Transport to State Control and Regulation? Evidence on Relative Effectiveness and Efficiency from the UK and Ireland.
Currently, the issues of the re-nationalisation of rail and a possible requirement for quality contracts to be implemented for some local bus services have risen to the top of the political agenda in relation to UK transport. This situation stems from lack of satisfaction with market liberalisation during the 1980s and 1990s. However such calls for reform of public transport regulation prompt questions about the relative effectiveness of greater state involvement in the control and delivery of public transport.
This paper examines the effectiveness of different forms of control and regulation covering public transport provision by benchmarking alternative regimes against each other. The benchmarking work encompasses public transport performance, funding and structure. The paper reviews evidence on the performance of public transport operators under a variety of control and regulatory arrangements in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland, based on a number of secondary data sources.
These sources have informed development of a range of standardised indicators for both bus and rail including; level of service (Vehicle Kilometres) by per capita population, by region, population size and population density; quality of service by fares and level of comfort; passenger satisfaction by operator across a suite of level of service parameters; and passengers per capita population, region, population size and population density.
The paper provides a commentary on the relative performances of the different of public transport operator types that in turn informs a discussion on the possible reasons for performance variation between operators.

Publisher

Association for European Transport