Disruption costs in bus contract transitions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, organisation - competition, organisation - contracting, economics - appraisal/evaluation


Contract transition, Disruption costs, Stated choice, Offer assessors, Mixed logit, Bus contracts, Operator reputation


This paper investigates the role of assessment criteria in assisting members of the competitive tendering evaluation committee to choose their preferred operator. In a world where there are increasing numbers of jurisdictions moving to competitive tendering, there is an increased incidence of a change in operator when the term of the contract comes to an end. In many jurisdictions, the anecdotal evidence on the disruption caused by this change in operator is growing. We investigate this issue using a stated choice experiment in which members of evaluation committees are presented with a series of alternative operator bids that include, ex ante, a measure of the transition costs identified as a proportion of the lowest offer for the contract, and two proxy descriptors of operator reputation. A mixed logit choice model is estimated to identify the role that transition costs play in influencing the preferences of evaluation committee members, providing evidence for the first time on the extent to which the often unreported role of such transition costs, perceived or real, appear to play in the minds of competitive tender evaluation.


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


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