Evaluating Private Bus Operators' Willingness to Participate in Transit Improvements in Mexico

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - bus, economics - revenue, organisation - privatisation, organisation - regulation, planning - service improvement


transit improvements, political feasibility, private bus operators


Inputs are provided for the decision-making process of transit improvements in developing countries. With an analysis of the willingness of private bus operators to participate in transit improvements, political feasibility can be assessed, and the likelihood of successful implementation can be increased. Data from 156 surveys conducted in cities in Mexico are used to develop probabilistic models that quantify the influence of private bus operators' characteristics, perceptions about business and operating efficiencies, and their relationship with government on their willingness to participate. Evidence shows that several elements can increase the willingness of private operators to participate in government-led proposals. These elements include the level of trust and communication between private bus operators and government authorities, the economic power of private bus operators, and the attachment to the status quo. Several features are shown to limit operators' willingness to participate, including the model of operation, likelihood of lost revenue through taxation, and concerns about the potential modifications of their legal rights to operate. An analysis of Mexico City, Mexico, and surrounding areas demonstrates the need to establish a well-defined strategy for engaging private bus operators in transit improvements; failure to do so has resulted in much less trust of government and led to more conflicts about future projects. The importance of analyzing private bus operators' participative profiles in the assessment of transit improvements is revealed. Selected areas for improvements might present challenges for engaging private bus operators in proposed improvements.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Transportation Research Board, Washington, copyright remains with them.