Regulating Transport in Europe

Regulating Transport in Europe

Edited by Mattias Finger and Torben Holvad

This book concerns the regulation of transport within a European context, covering air, inland waterways, rail, road passenger and freight, urban public transport, and short sea shipping. All these sectors have experienced substantial changes over the last two decades, in terms of ownership, competition and liberalisation, and the book explores the main transformations and their impacts. The authors address these issues, with a specific focus on the effects of the organisation and regulation of transport systems on their performance. They also provide timely policy recommendations, including possible European future policy initiatives.

Chapter 6: Urban public transport

Rosário Macário

Subjects: economics and finance, transport, environment, transport, politics and public policy, public policy, regulation and governance, urban and regional studies, transport


The challenges and related options for regulatory intervention in urban transport have been the subject of extensive studies and discussions during the past two decades. This discussion is also reflected in a number of policy papers issued by the European Commission (EC). However, the subsidiarity principle prevents the European Commission from imposing top-down solutions which are considered unlikely to be appropriate for the diversity of local situations that can be found in Europe. The role of the EC is thus to disseminate good practice, harmonize technical standards, provide research funds and adapt legislation. In this context Regulation 1191/69 set rules for the structure and content of public service contracts that incorporated public service obligations and respective financial compensation. However, this regulation did not advance any solutions for the way contracts should be awarded, and public procurement Directives (92/50 and 93/38) allowed public transport to be exempted from competitive tendering.

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