Going Private: The International Experience with Transport Privatization

Going Private: The International Experience with Transport Privatization

Going Private: The International Experience with Transport Privatization

Going Private: The International Experience with Transport Privatization

Synopsis

" The most thorough and extensive overview of transportation privatization to date." Policy Currents

Excerpt

In the past two decades almost all developing countries have experimented with different forms of ownership and regulation of urban buses. in the developed world, Great Britain undertook ambitious and unprecedented experiments in bus privatization in the mid-1980s. Even the United States experimented in the 1980s as public bus authorities contracted with private companies to provide various services. Two basic considerations have driven this widespread experimentation: bus services are important, and they are almost universally subject to a degenerative regulatory or managerial cycle that periodically endangers their availability.

The Importance of Urban Bus Services

Urban transport is often divided into the human or foot-powered modes, primarily walking or the bicycle, and the motorized modes. the motorized modes can be divided into those vehicles owned and operated by private individuals, most notably the automobile, and those available to the public, though not necessarily publicly owned, such as the bus, taxi, streetcar, subway, or commuter railroad. Buses are the principal form of motorized public transportation in the cities of developed and developing countries, with bus ridership typically higher than that of all the other public modes combined.

Urban bus services are especially important in the cities of developing countries. the urban transport systems of developing countries are strained by rapid population growth and by the shift, as incomes grow, to higher-quality and more costly transportation modes. in the poorest cities the shift is from foot-powered modes to motorized public transport, while in the cities of the wealthier developing countries, citizens move from public transport to the private automobile. in both the poorer and the wealthier cities, however, the most important motorized modes are typically the conventional-sized bus (with thirty-five or more seats), the . . .

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