Flexible Transport Services: Overcoming Barriers to Implementation in Low-Density Urban Areas

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - australasia, organisation - regulation, infrastructure - fleet management, ridership - attitudes


Flexible transport services, barriers to implementation, low-density urban public transport


Flexible transport services include a range of passenger transport mobility offers, where services are flexible in one or more of the dimensions of route, vehicle allocation, vehicle operator, type of payment and passenger category. Although flexible transport services are used increasingly in Europe and the USA as part of the public transport mix where regular services are not sustainable, there are few working examples of these services in urban Australia, although there are many opportunities. Through a series of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders in New South Wales, Australia, the article identifies barriers to greater use of flexible transport services in low-density urban areas. These five sets of barriers include: institutional frameworks such as regulation; economic issues of funding and cost; operational issues such as fleet and vehicles; operator and community attitudes, awareness and cultures; and information and education. The article makes recommendations to enable and encourage greater use of flexible transport services by transport service planners and providers as part of the public transport mix in low-density urban environments where it can be more difficult to provide regular and scheduled public transport.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor & Francis, copyright remains with them.