ISSUES IN THE ECONOMIC REGULATION OF URBAN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

This paper considers the question of more versus less regulation and the role of alternative institutional approaches. Provisions for entry and exit from urban transportation markets are discussed, as well as the constraints and incentives experienced by existing carriers. A fundamental difference is noted regarding the potential of competition as an alternative to regulation and planning as an incentive in present institutions for decision making in urban transportation. The issue of entry and exit in the provision of urban transportation service is closely related to the issue of the desirability of competition. The potential of competitive alternatives to conventional fixed-route transit-systems ws discussed, and ride-sharing systems, jitneys, fee-paid carpooling, commuter bus operations and special paratransit services were considered. Both public and private operators expressed the view that regulation unduly restricted the prerogatives of management and was unresponsive to public needs. Support was expressed for greater flexibilty for existing operators both transit and taxi, to experiment with changes in fares and service without being locked into the change. Comments are made on the brokerage concept. It is noted that dissatisfaction with the regulatory system appears to reflect the inherent, irreconcilable contradictions of competing objectives by participants in the regulatory process as well as the limitations of the institutional structures. Much of the disagreement about desirable institutional structures is based in part on significant differences in objective for urban transportation. New mechanisms must be developed to resolve the conflicts between certificated carriers and new entrants and for addressing the problem of how to regulate new modal alternatives.

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    • This paper appeared in Transportation Research Board Special Report No. 181, Urban Transportation Economics. It contains proceedings of Five Workshops on Pricing Alternatives, Economic Regulations, Labor Issues, Marketing, and Government Financing Responsibilities held by Transportation Research Board. Sponsored by Office of the Secretary, Federal Highway Administration, and Urban Mass Transportation Administration of DOT; Environmental Protection Agency; and Federal Energy Administration. Distribution, posting, or copying of this PDF is strictly prohibited without written permission of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences. Unless otherwise indicated, all materials in this PDF are copyrighted by the National Academy of Sciences. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
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    Transportation Research Board

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  • Authors:
    • Tye, William B
  • Publication Date: 1978

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Pagination: pp 68-71
  • Monograph Title: URBAN TRANSPORTATION ECONOMICS
  • Serial:

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00176494
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 14 1981 12:00AM