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A Review of Public Transport Economics

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Document pages: 59 pages

Abstract: Public transport provision requires substantial organisational efforts, careful planning, in some cases contributions from the public purse, and coordination between millions of passengers and staff members in large systems. Efficient resource allocation is critical in its daily operation, and therefore public transport has been among the most popular subjects of transport economics since the infancy of our discipline. This paper presents an overview of the literature developed over the past half century, including more than three hundred important contributions. The paper has a strong methodological orientation. We collect, classify and compare the frequently used analytical modelling techniques, thus providing a cookbook for future research and learning efforts. Among the applications of public transport models, we discuss key findings on optimal capacity provision, pricing, cost recovery and subsidies, externalities, private operations, public service regulation, as well as cross-cutting subjects with urban economics, political economy, and emerging mobility technologies.

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