Changing roles and new perspectives: towards market orientation in public transport


Sofia Molander

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, organisation - competition, organisation - contracting, planning - marketing/promotion, planning - public consultation


Public transport, Market orientation, Public procurement


The general international trend of increasingly subjecting the public transport industry to market principles has been concretized via various developments in many countries. In line with this trend, there is an increased interest in public procurement processes as a model for public service delivery. Sweden is one of the leading countries where public procurement is the prevailing model for delivering public services. In accordance with the general trend, efforts have been made to make Sweden’s public transport more sensitive to passenger needs, and to stimulate a competitive public transport system. For instance, a new Act, which came into effect on 1 January 2012, is aimed at fostering a customer-centric public transport system, with increased role clarity for the public transport actors. Since market-oriented strategies and public procurement processes are both receiving increased interest from the public transport industry, the market orientation of both public authorities and service providers in Sweden’s public transport has been studied. Since market orientation is a process of change, a longitudinal approach was whereby the first study was conducted in the spring of 2011 and the second in the spring of 2014. All of Sweden’s public transport authorities and the service providers that they stated as their major contract holders were asked to participate. In total, 184 respondents participated in the studies. The findings show that the industry as a whole has increased its organizational and inter-organizational efforts to both acquire knowledge of and respond to passenger needs. In particular, the public service providers have increased their involvement in market-oriented activities.


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