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Cost structure and technological change of local public transport: the Kaohsiung City Bus case


  • Judy Shaw-Er
  • Wang Chiang
  • Ya-Wen Chen


This study has developed a translog cost function for the Kaohsiung City Bus (KCB) to analyse its cost structure and economic characteristics, based on monthly data over the time period from January 1996 to December 2000. The empirical results reveal that economies of density in the provision of bus services in Kaohsiung do prevail. The estimated marginal cost, which is less than the average cost but greater than the current bus fare, indicates that the subsidy is necessary. Due to the existence of returns to density (RTD), the KCB could obtain cost-saving benefits by extending its output scale. The KCB production technology is also not neutral. The effects of technological change on the KCB costs suggest that over the period 1996-2000 technological progress did lead to cost saving; the pure productivity growth rate increased from 0.45% in 1998 to 3% in 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Judy Shaw-Er & Wang Chiang & Ya-Wen Chen, 2005. "Cost structure and technological change of local public transport: the Kaohsiung City Bus case," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(12), pages 1399-1410.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:37:y:2005:i:12:p:1399-1410
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840500118465

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & Catherine Muller-Vibes, 2011. "The Industrial Organization of Competition in Local Bus Services," Chapters, in: André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Emile Quinet & Roger Vickerman (ed.), A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 32, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Avenali, Alessandro & Boitani, Andrea & Catalano, Giuseppe & D’Alfonso, Tiziana & Matteucci, Giorgio, 2018. "Assessing standard costs in local public bus transport: A hybrid cost model," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 48-57.
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