Privatisation Reversals of Bus Transport Service: A Case of Shanghai in China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, operations - performance, organisation - privatisation


Privatisation reversal, public bus service, Shanghai, China


Public services have experienced a wave of privatisation reversal worldwide since 1990s. The debate about privatisation reversal has thus increased growing scholarly attention. To fully understand the reversal, this paper attempts to identify the reasons for reversal (why do actors engage in them), reveal the characteristics of reversal process (how does it happen), and evaluate the performance after reversal in urban bus transport field. The reversal of the privatised Shanghai public bus service was selected for illustration. The findings suggest that: (1) there exist various reversal reasons in different institutional environments, involving economic, political, and societal factors; (2) The reversal process is characterised by multi-actor interactions embedded in institutional environments; (3) The performance is improved after reversal.


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