Commercial public bus transport services in Germany: How a market in motion struggles with its regulatory framework


Arne Beck

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - europe, organisation - regulation, organisation - competition, organisation - contracting


Public transport, Bus, Tendering, Regulation, Commercial services, Competition, Market entry barriers


After decades of stagnation, the competitive market for commercial public bus transport services in Germany is beginning to move. Nevertheless, compared to the total market volume, the number of cases where competition is observable remains small. An empirical analysis of competition in the commercial services market as compared to competition in the non-commercial services market confirms that entry barriers do exist. These barriers clearly impede competitive developments in this embryonic market, which relies on the market initiatives of operators to develop. The paper identifies a key entry barrier in the institutional framework: for potential market entrants, the overall uncertainty regarding competitive procedures for commercial services is significantly higher than usual in tendering procedures. This high uncertainty poses the main disadvantage for newcomers as compared to incumbents.


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


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