Competition in Polish urban public transport


M Wolanski

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - competition, place - urban


During last 20 years of transformation from the centrally planned to the market economics, also the Polish urban public transport systems have been significantly modernized, both in the functional in organisational way. Each city could choose an individual strategy, also in terms of possible usage of competition. The developed solutions differ from the monopoly of a communal company (Poznan, Rzeszow), through tendering of whole bus systems (Tczew) or its parts (for example in Warsaw and Gdynia since early 1990’s) to a deep deregulation and ‘on-the-road’ competition in Zakopane. Some contracts are operated by international companies, but also national private firms, such as DLA in the region of Wroclaw or ITS in the region of Wroclaw, remain important market players. The point of the paper will be to synthesize current experience, previously hardly presented in English and known by the international audience. The Author will focus at the mainstream ‘off-the-road’ competition model and different tendering and contractual solutions when outsourcing the services to private companies. This determines such important factors, as the risk and competence distribution between public and private sectors, managing competition within carriers and – last but not least – motivating them to delivering high quality services to the passengers. Also a comparison of the economic efficiency of different solutions will be presented. It bases both on a cost model, as well as attractiveness to the passengers. The analysed data has been gathered and proceeded within an own research with an organisational support of the Polish Chamber of Urban Public Transport. Presented research is a part of Author’s Ph.D. thesis, ‘Efficiency of public transport demonopolisation in Poland’, which is currently prepared.


Permission to publish abstract given by AET.