Changing public transport governance in Dutch metropoles: To tender or not to tender

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

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


Public transport, Tendering, Institutional change


With winds of change from the European Commission reaching the Netherlands, the national government altered the Law on Passenger Transport in 2000 to best reflect European demands. This new law meant competitive tendering became obligatory. At first, the metropolitan transport authorities in the three largest cities (Amsterdam, The Hague, and Rotterdam) were granted an extended deadline for tendering. However, due to shifting winds from Brussels, in 2007 the Dutch national government dropped the obligation to tender for the three cities. Suddenly the authorities had to decide for themselves whether or not to tender. This article describes the different routes and outcomes of the three metropolitan authorities. Where the metropolitan authority in Rotterdam aimed at conservation of their existing model, the authorities of Amsterdam and The Hague embraced change. In The Hague conformation to the letter of the law seemed an important driver, whereas confrontation between different interests in the region was the starting point for change in Amsterdam.


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


Research in Transportation Economics Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07398859