Some lessons from incentive theory: Promoting quality in bus transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, operations - performance, economics - subsidy, organisation - contracting


Bus transport, Quality, Concessions


While service quality is an important problem in bus transport services, few transport authorities have considered the solution of modifying their concession contracts. This paper proposes imitating market-oriented solutions from private franchise chains to increase the service quality offered by transport operators, solutions that include the threat of losing rents or quasi-rents to stop franchisee opportunism. The study bases its arguments on the complementarities between different control mechanisms and the similarities between franchise and concession contracts. Similarly, the paper proposes linking the renewal of concession contracts to the administrative reputation of operators (measured by customer feedback on service quality). The study also provides details on the implementation of such an incentive system.


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


Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X