Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy
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Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy

Edited by Chris Nash

Transport economics and policy analysis is a field which has seen major advances in methodology in recent decades, covering issues such as estimating cost functions, modelling of demand, dealing with externalities, examining industry ownership and structure, pricing and investment decisions and measuring economic impacts. This Handbook contains reviews of all these methods, with an emphasis on practical applications, commissioned from an international cast of experts in the field.
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Chapter 16: Local and regional public transport

Didier van de Velde


The public transport sector has, since the 1980s, been submitted to substantial regulatory reforms in many countries of the world. The rise of neo-liberalism since the 1970s, with major proponents such as the government of Margaret Thatcher in Britain or Ronald Reagan in the US, was a major trigger in economic reforms that were subsequently also implemented in various transport sectors in a large number of countries. The rising subsidy requirement of the public transport sector in the 1970s and 1980s, together with rising (suspicion of) inefficiencies in the public transport sector, were additional triggers to start looking for new ways to organise the public transport sector. This rise of market oriented management also happened in other sectors and later came to be known as ‘New Public Management’ (Hood, 1995). In the European public transport context it was mainly the reforms introduced in Great Britain in the 1980s that initiated a significant wave of reforms that subsequently spread in various configurations and at various speeds to other European countries.

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