The bus industry and the cases of Australia, The USA and the UK

  • J. S. Dodgson


This chapter considers deregulation, privatisation and tendering for service in the bus industries of three countries, Great Britain, Australia and the United States. For long-distance bus services there has been common experience of deregulation and liberalisation of entry conditions, and broadly common results of expansion of service and benefits to consumers. For local services, on which this chapter concentrates, the three countries have faced similar problems (common to the rest of the developed world) of rising deficits and poor productivity performance. However the response has been different. In Great Britain outside London services have been deregulated and the free market has been allowed to determine the level of commercial services and fares, with competitive tendering then used to provide subsidised services. In London, and in a number of cities in the United States and Australia, there have been moves within a regulated framework toward tendering of services, usually though not always on a competitive basis. This chapter reviews and compares the different experience. It should be noted that for Australia and the United States local bus service is synonymous with urban bus service, whereas in Great Britain there are many local (i.e. short-distance) rural bus services which do not have a counterpart in the wider open spaces of America and Australia.


Fair Trading Private Operator Public Transport Service Metropolitan County Urban Public Transport 
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© Kenneth Button and David Pitfield 1991

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  • J. S. Dodgson

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