Developments in public transport governance in the Netherlands: A brief history and recent developments

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail, mode - subway/metro, mode - rail, organisation - competition, organisation - governance, operations - coordination


Governance, Public transport, Netherlands, Competitive tendering


This paper describes recent developments in the governance of public transport in the Netherlands, focusing on bus, tram, metro and regional train concessions. Most of these concessions are competitively tendered. Competitive tendering was introduced in 2001 and Dutch authorities have since chosen different concession setups and forms of contract remuneration. This paper explores that variety and describes recent changes at the national and regional levels. The paper describes key trends and lessons from the Dutch experience based on a seven-year project drawing lessons on competitive tendering with authorities, operators and consultants, and based on interviews with 16 of the 19 public transport authorities. Key trends are dealing with fragmentation and maturing governance by fine-tuning incentives and cooperation forms between public transport authorities and operators.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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