“To Bid or Not to Bid, This is the Question: The Italian Experience in Competitive Tendering for Local Bus Services”
Competitive tendering is a popular mechanism for the provision of local bus services when a major objective is subsidy savings. Despite uncertainties in the legal rules some competitive tendering was implemented in Italy since 1998. The evidence so far is that participants were limited in number, the incumbents were almost everywhere able to gain the franchise, whilst subsidy savings were in many cases negligible. If some “political” conditions favouring more effective tendering procedures are not fulfilled, other regimes should be considered in order to obtain substantial subsidy savings.
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