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Tom West

I used to live in the West Midlands which had one dominant operator (~70% market share), one medium-sized operator (~25% market share) and a vast number of smaller operators. Each had their own tickets, and none had to honour the tickets of other operators.

The obvious solution would be some kind of ticket they would be valid of more than one operator... but operators were forbidden from getting together and doing that because it counted as anti-competitive! (Because they in theory could prevent a small/new operator from being part of the scheme).

Unless you have some indepedent (i.e. government-run) scheme for tickets being valid on multiple operators, this will persist. (NB: this is essentially what the railways have in the UK)

John Smith

Bus operators in North East England have formed the North East Bus Operators' Association to vigorously oppose the imposition of a contract scheme in Tyne and Wear. They are working together with Nexus on a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which will provide much of the benefits of a contract scheme without the 'unintended consequence' of transferring the financial responsibility to the public sector, particularly at a time when local authority finances are under increasing pressure. You can read about it here.

Peter Laws

90% of bus route miles run without subsidy? Wow. Whatever changes are made, don't break that part!!

Peter

DLB_84

The Adelaide Metro system operated by the South Australian State Government Transport Department is a great example of the ideal system described above.

The department operates the ticketing, routes, schedules, branding, stations/interchanges etc. while the operation/supply of buses is out-sourced.

Best of all, an Adelaide Metro ticket will get you 2 hours of bus, tram and train service anywhere in the city. It means I can catch the bus to the train station, train to the city, then tram to work without needing to re-ticket.

http://www.adelaidemetro.com.au/about-us

Max Wyss

So, what they essentially want is a "Tarifverbund". As it has been said, that's more or less industry standard practice. That it works has been proven all over the place, but, of course, there is no more space for artificial competition.

A step further is the "Verkehrsverbund", where the LTA is owner of the network (such as described for Adelaide), and hires the operators for providing the services ordered (and paid for). This system does have one element of competition in it, namely when the services are open for bid.

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