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Regulating Public Transit Networks: How do Urban-Intercity Diversification and Speed-up Measures Affect Firms' Cost Performance?

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  • Giovanni Fraquelli
  • Massimiliano Piacenza
  • Graziano Abrate

Abstract

Empirical studies on the cost structure of Public Transit Networks are mainly based on specialized firms providing urban or intercity services. In this study we estimate a translogarithmic variable cost function to assess the behaviour of returns to scale and the impact of network characteristics. The analysis is based on a sample of 45 Italian municipal companies observed from 1996 to 1998 and including both specialized and mixed transit operators. Results confirm previous evidence on the existence of natural monopoly in the industry and support a regulation introducing competitive tenders to access to the market. In addition, we provide insights about the advantages associated with urban-intercity diversification and with the improvement of network commercial speed. Cost benefits can then be achieved by promoting mergers between neighbouring firms, so as to create new companies operating on integrated local networks and supplying in combination urban and intercity public transport. Implications of such a strategy for the design of tender mechanisms are also underlined, together with the need for a regulatory policy which takes more care of speed-up measures. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Annals of Public & Cooperative Economics.

Volume (Year): 75 (2004)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 193-225

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Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:75:y:2004:i:2:p:193-225

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Cited by:
  1. Mehdi Farsi & Aurelio Fetz & Massimo Filippini, 2007. "Economies of Scale and Scope in Local Public Transportation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 41(3), pages 345-361, September.
  2. Carlo Cambini & Massimiliano Piacenza & Davide Vannoni, 2007. "Restructuring Public Transit Systems: Evidence on Cost Properties from Medium and Large-Sized Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 183-203, November.
  3. Beniamina Margari & Fabrizio Erbetta & Carmelo Petraglia & Massimiliano Piacenza, 2007. "Regulatory and environmental effects on public transit efficiency: a mixed DEA-SFA approach," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 131-151, October.
  4. Cambini Carlo & Filippini Massimo & Piacenza Massimiliano & Vannoni Davide, 2011. "Corporatization and Firm Performance: Evidence from Publicly-Provided Local Utilities," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 191-213, July.
  5. Germà Bel & Jordi Rosell, 2014. "“Public and Private Production in a Mixed Delivery System: Regulation, Competition and Costs”," IREA Working Papers, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics 201418, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2014.
  6. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Joan Calzada, 2010. "Urban transport governance reform in Barcelona," IREA Working Papers, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics 201009, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2010.
  7. Andrea Boitani & Marcella Nicolini & Carlo Scarpa, 2013. "Do competition and ownership matter? Evidence from local public transport in Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(11), pages 1419-1434, April.

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