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Subsidy and Local Bus Service Deregulation in Britain: A Re-evaluation

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  • Peter Romilly

Abstract

Local bus services in Britain (excluding London) were deregulated in October 1986. Bus vehicle kilometres increased after deregulation, but passenger journeys fell and bus fares increased in real terms. The inability to reverse the long-run decline in passenger journeys and the increase in bus fares is often cited as evidence of the failure of deregulation to promote greater competition in the industry. This evaluation is not clear-cut, however, since government macroeconomic policy caused significant reductions in subsidy to the bus industry concurrent with deregulation. It can be argued that it is the reduction in subsidy, rather than the lack of competition, which caused fares to increase. If this is the case, then the evaluation of deregulation should allow for the effects of subsidy reduction. This paper specifies and tests an econometric model in which the role of subsidy reduction is explicitly incorporated in a price-markup equation. The model can be used to generate forecasts of bus fares and passenger journeys after allowing for subsidy replacement. These forecasts are compared with those for the continuation of the regulated system. A cost-benefit analysis calculates the net present value of the internal and external welfare gains from deregulation per se in Britain excluding London for 1986-97. A similar analysis is conducted for the metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas of Britain. ? The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2001

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  • Peter Romilly, 2001. "Subsidy and Local Bus Service Deregulation in Britain: A Re-evaluation," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 35(2), pages 161-193, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpe:jtecpo:v:35:y:2001:i:2:p:161-193
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    Cited by:

    1. Fullerton, Thomas M. Jr & Walke, Adam G., 2012. "Border Zone Mass Transit Demand in Brownsville and Laredo," Journal of the Transportation Research Forum, Transportation Research Forum, vol. 51(2).
    2. Manel Daldoul & Sami Jarboui & Ahlem Dakhlaoui, 2016. "Public transport demand: dynamic panel model analysis," Transportation, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 491-505, May.
    3. Jamasb, T. & Söderberg, M., 2009. "Yardstick and Ex-post Regulation by Norm Model: Empirical Equivalence, Pricing Effect, and Performance in Sweeden," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0908, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    4. Preston, John & Almutairi, Talal, 2014. "Evaluating the long term impacts of transport policy: The case of bus deregulation revisited," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 263-269.
    5. de Grange, Louis & González, Felipe & Muñoz, Juan Carlos & Troncoso, Rodrigo, 2013. "Aggregate estimation of the price elasticity of demand for public transport in integrated fare systems: The case of Transantiago," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 178-185.
    6. Philippe Gagnepain & Marc Ivaldi & Catherine Muller-Vibes, 2011. "The Industrial Organization of Competition in Local Bus Services," Chapters,in: A Handbook of Transport Economics, chapter 32 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Massey, Patrick, 2007. "Delayed Indefinitely: Regulatory Reform of the Irish Bus Industry," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(1-Spring), pages 38-61.
    8. Michaelides, Panayotis G. & Konstantakis, Konstantinos N. & Milioti, Christina & Karlaftis, Matthew G., 2015. "Modelling spillover effects of public transportation means: An intra-modal GVAR approach for Athens," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 1-18.
    9. Kaushik Deb & Massimo Filippini, 2013. "Public Bus Transport Demand Elasticities in India," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, University of Bath, vol. 47(3), pages 419-436, September.
    10. Preston, John & Almutairi, Talal, 2013. "Evaluating the long term impacts of transport policy: An initial assessment of bus deregulation," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 208-214.
    11. Crôtte, Amado & Noland, Robert B. & Graham, Daniel J., 2009. "Is the Mexico City metro an inferior good?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 40-45, January.
    12. Gkritza, Konstantina & Karlaftis, Matthew G. & Mannering, Fred L., 2011. "Estimating multimodal transit ridership with a varying fare structure," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 148-160, February.
    13. Gwilliam, Ken, 2008. "A review of issues in transit economics," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 4-22, January.

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