Privatisation and Regulation of Urban Transit Systems

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Urban public transport services generally run at a large deficit. This has led public authorities to seek efficiencies, notably through private sector involvement. Support for the sector traditionally seeks to provide basic mobility services to all segments of society, including low-income users. Intervention is also required to manage the natural tendency towards concentration and market power in the provision of these transport services. Policy towards urban public transport is increasingly aimed at managing congestion on the roads and mitigating CO2 emissions by substituting for travel by car. 

Achieving coherent transport networks that are efficient and financially sustainable is a challenge for any public authority. This Round Table examines experience in integrating private management and capital with public transport policy objectives in a number of developed economies. For network operators, the Round Table concludes that innovation is the key to surviving the rapidly changing policy and regulatory environment.

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Contracting for Public Transit Services in the US: Evaluating the Tradeoffs

International Transport Forum

The research reported upon in this study was supported by the Center for Labor and Employment of the University of California, the California Policy Research Center, and the University of California Transportation Center. The authors are grateful for this financial support. The opinions and conclusions expressed are those of the authors alone, and do not represent the views of their employers or of the research sponsors.

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