Operator changes through competitive tendering: Empirical evidence from German local bus transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

economics - economies of scale, economics - subsidy, mode - bus, organisation - competition, organisation - privatisation, place - europe, place - urban, organisation - contracting


local public bus transport, competitive tendering, tender structure, probit model


In this paper, we empirically investigate operator changes and the structural conditions in competitive tendering of bus services in Germany. We show that the focus has been on regional services, which has led to a loss in market share for the incumbent DB Stadtverkehr companies and gains for private companies, whereas municipal services have rarely been tendered out. The high average number of bidders (5.1) and the high probability of an operator change (58.2%) are positively influenced by tendering in larger volumes and longer contractual lengths. Tenders in early years have been more likely subject to an operator change. By contrast, complexity drivers such as the number of lines and mixed urban and regional transports exhibit a negative influence on competition.


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