Market initiative and central planning: A study of the Moscow bus network

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - bus, organisation - regulation, organisation - governance, organisation - structures


Public transport network, Market initiative, Central planning, Minibuses, New model, Bus reform, Moscow, Russia


The dichotomy of the market initiative and central planning is considered to be one of the main issues in the governance of public transport provision. It relates to the rights of either the operators or authorities to design public transport services. The advantages and disadvantages of these models can motivate the reforms of public transport governance. Such reforms usually result in significant changes in the technical specifications of the public transport services. In this paper, we attempt to study the changes in the Moscow bus network introduced within the reform of public transport governance, the so-called ‘new model of partnership with private operators’ scheme. In 2016, all market-initiated minibus routes were replaced by those directly designed by the Moscow authorities. Since then, the private branch of the Moscow bus system came under a central planning regime with no room for market initiative. The large changes in the network in 2016 opened up a discussion on the impact of public transport governance on the network structure. This paper provides an analysis of the land passenger transport network of 2015 and 2016. It can be useful to describe the paths of network development under different regulatory regimes.


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


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