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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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  • Giovanni Fraquelli & Massimiliano Piacenza & Graziano Abrate, 2004. "Regulating Public Transit Networks: How do Urban-Intercity Diversification and Speed-up Measures Affect Firms' Cost Performance?," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 75(2), pages 193-225, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:75:y:2004:i:2:p:193-225
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    Cited by:

    1. 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, vol. 7(1), pages 191-213, July.
    2. Andrea Boitani & Marcella Nicolini & Carlo Scarpa, 2013. "Do competition and ownership matter? Evidence from local public transport in Europe," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(11), pages 1419-1434, April.
    3. Daraio, Cinzia & Diana, Marco & Di Costa, Flavia & Leporelli, Claudio & Matteucci, Giorgio & Nastasi, Alberto, 2016. "Efficiency and effectiveness in the urban public transport sector: A critical review with directions for future research," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 248(1), pages 1-20.
    4. 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, vol. 32(2), pages 131-151, October.
    5. 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;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(3), pages 183-203, November.
    6. Fraquelli Giovanni, 2007. "Optimal Scale and Efficiency of the Italian Public Utilities," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 205-228.
    7. Daniel Albalate & Germà Bel & Joan Calzada, 2010. "Urban transport governance reform in Barcelona," IREA Working Papers 201009, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Jun 2010.
    8. Cinzia Daraio & Marco Diana & Flavia Di Costa & Claudio Leporelli & Giorgio Matteucci & Alberto Nastasi, 2014. "Efficiency and effectiveness in the urban public transport sector: a critical review with directions for future research," DIAG Technical Reports 2014-14, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    9. Filippini, M. & Koller, M. & Masiero, G., 2015. "Competitive tendering versus performance-based negotiation in Swiss public transport," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 158-168.
    10. Avenali, Alessandro & Boitani, Andrea & Catalano, Giuseppe & D’Alfonso, Tiziana & Matteucci, Giorgio, 2016. "Assessing standard costs in local public bus transport: Evidence from Italy," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 164-174.
    11. Elisabetta Ottoz & Marina Di Giacomo, 2012. "Diversification strategies and scope economies: evidence from a sample of Italian regional bus transport providers," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(22), pages 2867-2880, August.
    12. Graziano Abrate & Fabrizio Erbetta & Giovanni Fraquelli & Davide Vannoni, 2014. "Cost function estimation of multi-service firms. Evidence from the passenger transport industry," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 380, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    13. Abrate, Graziano & Erbetta, Fabrizio & Fraquelli, Giovanni & Vannoni, Davide, 2016. "Bet big on doubles, bet smaller on triples. Exploring scope economies in multi-service passenger transport companies," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 81-88.
    14. Germà Bel & Jordi Rosell, 2016. "Public and Private Production in a Mixed Delivery System: Regulation, Competition and Costs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(3), pages 533-558, June.
    15. Mehdi Farsi & Aurelio Fetz & Massimo Filippini, 2007. "Economies of Scale and Scope in Local Public Transportation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 41(3), pages 345-361, September.
    16. Alessandro Avenali & Andrea Boitani & Giuseppe Catalano & Tiziana D'Alfonso & Giorgio Matteucci, 2014. "Un modello per la determinazione del costo standard nei servizi di trasporto pubblico locale su autobus in Italia°," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(4), pages 181-213.

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