Organizing transit in small urban and rural communities

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - rural, place - north america, place - low density


rural transit, North Dakota, rederal policy, service design, operation


The justification of government support of rural transit on the basis of the presence of increasing returns to scale and the most efficient regional organization of transit is investigated. Returns to density, size, and scope at most levels of output were found. Cost subadditivity, where a monopoly firm can provide service at a lower cost than two firms, was found for many, but not all observations. The presence of natural monopoly in rural transit in a strict sense is rejected. The findings and implications are directly applicable to rural transit in North Dakota and should be helpful in informing future federal policy as well as rural transit policy, service design, and operation in other states.


Permission to publish the report has been given by Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, copyright remains with them.