Regulatory structures and their impact on the sustainability performance of public transport in world cities

Graham Currie, Long Truong, Chris De Gruyter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperOther

12 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a new measure of the sustainability performance of public transport in 88 world cities adopting 15 indicators including Environmental, Social, Economic and System Effectiveness sustainability. Sustainability performance is then explored for cities with only “Public” operations or others with some degree of commercial operation (“Non-Public”). Results show no significant difference in aggregate total sustainability indicator scores between world cities with “Public”/“Non-Public” operations. However Social Sustainability indicators are significantly different with “Public” operations having better Social Sustainability performance than “Non-Public”. For individual component indicators, three of the four Social Sustainability component indicators have average normalised scores suggesting statistically significant differences between “Public” and “Non-Public” city scores with “Public” cities performing better than “Non-Public”. The indicators and their relative positive sustainability scores for “Public” cities compared to ‘Non-Public’ cities are; Trip distance (24%), Affordability (34%) and PT related deaths (29%). However results also show that operating costs per passenger km are lower and cost recovery are higher in “Non-Public” cities suggesting higher elements of Economic Sustainability in “Non-Public” based Public Transport cities. The paper concludes with a summary and discussion of the results including implications for regulatory practices and areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch in Transportation Economics
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
EventInternational Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport (Thredbo) 2017 - Stockholm, Sweden
Duration: 13 Aug 201717 Aug 2017
Conference number: 15th

Publication series

NameResearch in Transportation Economics
ISSN (Print)0739-8859


ConferenceInternational Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport (Thredbo) 2017


  • Economic
  • Environment
  • Performance
  • Public transport
  • Regulation
  • Social
  • Sustainability
  • World cities

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