Strategy Advice on Competitive Structures in Regional Bus Transport

Client: nph – Nahverkehrsverbund Paderborn / Höxter

The public transport authority Paderborn / Hoexter (nph) is responsible for the organization of public road-bound transportation in Paderborn / Hoexter region and in charge of the design of the regional bus services. The Public Transport Authority is bound by the political goal to organize and procure the regional public transport without public financial support and  rely on cost-covering service provision as far as possible.

Thus nph chose to issue operation approvals for the bus line bundles to the applicants, who submit applications on cost-covering service provision complying with the quality and quantitiy requirements. The option of competition for approval (German: Genehmigungswettbewerb) has been the basis for competition since the new line bundeling concept was introduced with the new Reiongal Public Transport Plan. This strategy was successful: Approvals for all line bundles could be issued for cost-covering operations, in some cases with substantial increases of the transportation offer. At the same time the authority detected deficiencies and potential market risks for the future process.

The preceived success should be retained and secured for future rounds of competition. To support nph in this development, Rail&Bus Consultants analyzed market trends and recommended viable options to strengthen commercial viability of the regional public transport and to promote competition.

In collaboration with Dr. jur. Felix Berschin, Nahverkehrs­beratung SüdWest, Rail&Bus Consultants GmbH completed the following tasks:

  • Analysis of status-quo: evaluation of legal, economic and socio-economic framework for competition for approval.
  • Analysis of the present public transport offer and the concept of the line bundling. Analysis of the applied evaluation and approval procedures.
  • Development of options and measures for 
    • Strengthening of competition for approval
    • Strengthening of commercial viability and cost-covering operation
    • Attraction of competitors, promotion of competition for the market
    • Recommendation on handling options of market failure
    • Evaluation of the option of in-house operation
  • Elaboration of the guideline for strengthening of the present success and provision of recommendations for future action steps. 

On the one hand the developed strategy helps to assess the present position, on the other hand it serves as the first step into political-strategic discussions within the transport association.

Your contact person

Jörn Jaenecke, Dipl.-Ing.

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