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Competition Issues in Road Transport

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Document pages: 307 pages

Abstract: This document (of 305 pages) comprises the proceedings of an OECD roundtable on competition issues in road transport (trucks, buses and taxis) held in October 2000. Each of these three different services - trucks, buses and taxis has very different scope for competition and different regulatory regimes. Liberalisation of the road freight industry has shown that competition in road freight is sustainable and effective, although there is increasing concentration in the less-than-truckload segment. In the long-distance bus market, there is effective inter-modal competition, but there appears to be a strong tendency towards concentration around a single hub-and-spoke-style network operator. In-the-market competition in local bus services has not lead to sustainable competition, possible due to the ability of bus companies to expropriate investments by other companies in bus schedules (i.e., investment in inducing customers to come to a bus stop at a certain time). The taxi market, despite a large number of suppliers is only imperfectly competitive, as price and quality comparisons (at least for street-hailed taxis) are difficult. Most cities regulate taxi numbers, creating the risk of an artificial restriction in taxi supply. This document consists of a background paper by the Secretariat, submissions by 12 OECD countries and a summary of the oral discussion.

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