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Module Reading List

Public Transport Policy and Practice, 2021/22, Semester 1
Bryan Matthews
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

There is no single text I would recommend buying to cover the entire material on this module with an adequate level of depth but the closest is:

White, P.R. (2008), Public transport : its planning, management and operation, 5 th Edition, E & F Spon. This text provides a good introduction to the key topics from a UK context. There is a list of references at the end of each chapter, which is often helpful in finding additional information. However, the information is getting rather dated now and we will have to wait until December for the 6th edition.

The following references complement the basic text with respect to specific topics:

Vuchic, V.R. (2005), Urban transit : operations, planning and economics, Planning and Economics, John Wiley.

  • Chapters 1 to 5: public transport network and operations planning.
  • Chapters 7 and 8: fare structures and ticketing arrangements.
  • Chapter 10: overview of transport modelling for public transport.

This is an excellent text for future reference (eg, postgraduate study or professional practice).

Balcombe, R. et al (2004), The demand for public transport : a practical guide, TRL Report TRL593 [available online: ].

  • Chapter 5: discussion of the concept of elasticities.
  • Chapters 6 to 11: factors affecting public transport demand.
  • Chapter 12 (especially section 12.5): forecasting demand for new services.

Also known as the White Book, this text is now the classic reference for understanding and forecasting public transport demand. It provides an overview of the key theoretical and methodological issues as well as empirical results.

Supplementary References:

Headicar, (2009), Transport policy and planning in Great Britain (The Natural and Built Environment Series),

  • Overview of GB transport current and historical policy, includes private modes but plenty on public transport.

Grayling, T. (ed.) (2001). Any more fares? : delivering better bus services. IPPR, London.

  • Chapters 1,2,5,7 and 10 are especially relevant to the lectures on policy,  ownership and regulation.

Hensher, D.A. and Brewer, A.M. (2001), Transport : an economics and management perspective, Oxford UP.

  • Chapters 2 and 3 provide a detailed discussion of the economic issues associated with ownership and regulation.

  • Chapters 5, 6 and 7 provide an in-depth analysis of the economics of public transport, in particular cost analysis, pricing strategies and investment appraisal.

Vuchic, V.R. (2007), Urban transit systems and technology. John Wiley -an earlier edition from 1981 is also available Urban public transportation : system and technology.

  • Chapter 1 provides a detailed account of the history of urban public transport.

  • Chapter 2 gives an overview of the technical characteristics and comparative performance of different modes.

Glover, John (2013), Principles of railway operation, Ian Allan Publishing. Very useful background and supplementary material to the lecture materials on rail operation and organization, particularly Chapters 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.

Wolmar, C (2016), Are trams socialist? : why Britain has no transport policy Highly readable but rather jaundiced history of British Transport policy.

In addition to the relevant chapters in White, Hensher and Brewer and Grayling the following are all useful references dealing specifically with policy, ownership and regulation issues in bus and rail:

Nash, Chris, Nilsson, Jan Eric, Link, Heike (2013), Comparing three models for introduction of competition into railway, Journal of transport economics and policy., 47(2) 191-206

Nash CA (2005), Privatisation in Transport. In Button, K. and Hensher, D.A. (eds.), Handbook of transport strategy, policy and institutions, Elsevier.

Nash, Chris (2008) Privatisation of Public Passenger Transport – Insight from the British experience, Paper presented at the conference on the future of public passenger transport at Greifswald, Germany, April, 2008.

Mackie, P.J. and Preston, J.M. (1996), The local bus market : a case study of regulatory change. Avebury.

Smith, A S J, Nash C A and Wheat P (2009), Passenger rail franchising in Britain: has it been a success? Rivista internazionale di economia dei trasporti = International journal of transport economics. 36(1) 33-62.

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Recent UK Public Transport Policy and Reports

The Department for Transport, Scottish Executive, Transport for London and Urban Transport Group (UTG ) publish useful reports, statistics and policy guidance on their websites. Many local authorities and PTEs also make available local transport plans, project appraisals and other useful documentation.

Recent Bus and Rail related policy documents can be found at:


Buses Bill (2016),

Local Transport Policy Paper (2015),

Competition Commission (2011), Local Bus Services Market Investigation, Final Report,


2010 to 2015 Government Policy: Rail Network (2015),

McNulty, Sir R (2011) Realising the potential of GB Rail: final independent report of the Rail Value for Money study. Department for Transport and Office of Rail Regulation, London, Available online at:

Other sources of information

The US Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) ( ) makes available online a collection of reports summarising US best practice and research. There are too many individual reports to mention but you should be able to find all material relevant to a specific topic by using their search engine.

Harris, N.G. and Godward, E.W. (eds) (1992). Planning passenger railways : a handbook. Transport Publishing Company.

Local transport today. – fortnightly magazine covering UK Public Transport Issues.

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Seminar topics

(1) BUS vs LRT. In spite of setting ambitious targets for the development of new LRT systems in its 10 Year Transport Plan, the government later decided to withdraw support from many schemes (Knowles, 2007). The Coalition government, despite large cuts in government spending, is still pursuing some of the remaining schemes. Is there still a case for investment in new LRT systems or are buses enough to meet government’s transport objectives? In what circumstances would investment in LRT be justified?

Vuchic (2005) (chapters 2, 4 and 12)

Vuchic (2007)

White Book (chapter 12)

Hodgson et al (2013), Can bus really be the new tram? , Research in transportation economics., Vol 39, P158-166

Atkins (2005), Study of high quality buses in Leeds.
[Available online at:

CfIT (2005), Affordable Mass Transit Guidance. Helping you Choose the Best System for Your Area, Commission for Integrated Transport, London. [This snapshot taken on 04/03/2011, shows web content selected for preservation by The National Archives. The Commission for Integrated Transport (CfIT) was abolished on 14 October 2010, this website will no longer be updated as of 22 December 2010.]

Hass-Klau, C. (2000) Bus or light rail : making the right choice : a financial, operational and demand comparison of light rail, guided buses, busways and bus lanes. Environmental and Transport Planning, Brighton.

A shorter article based on the same data is also available:

Hass-Klau, C. and Crampton, G. (2001) Bus or Light Rail – which is best? in T. Grayling (ed), Any more fares? : delivering better bus services. IPPR, London

Knowles, R.D. (2007), What future for light rail in the UK after Ten Year Transport Plan targets are scrapped? Transport policy.., 14, pp. 81-93

PTEG (2005), What light rail can do for cities: a review of the evidence, Passenger Transport Executive Group, Leeds.Available online at:

TCRP (2003), Report 90 – Bus Rapid Transit (Volume 1).
[available online at: ]

(2) PUBLIC TRANSPORT AND LAND USE. It is recognized that the steady decline in public transport demand since the 1950s has been mainly a consequence of the rise in car ownership, which in turn allowed for more dispersed and lower-density land use patterns (Wootton, 1999). Is there still scope for land use policies to reverse this trend in public transport patronage? Discuss what land use related measures are likely to be most effective with reference to examples of best practice.

White Book (Chapter 11)

Cervero, R. and Kockelman, K. (1997) Travel demand and the 3D’s: density, diversity, and design. Transportation research. Part D, Transport and environment., 2(3), pp. 199-219 

Newman, W.G. and Kenworthy, J.R. (1991), Transport and Urban Form in 32 of the World’s principal cities. Transport reviews.., 11(30, pp. 249-272

Rabinovitch, J. (1996), Innovative land use and public transport policy – the case of Curitiba, Brazil. Land use policy.., 13(3), pp. 51-67

Stead, D. and Marshall, S. (2001) The relationship between urban form and travel patterns: an international review and evaluation. European Journal of Transport and Infrastructure Research [electronic resource]., 1(2), pp. 113-141

TCRP (1996) Report 16 – Transit and urban form. National Academy Press, Washington D.C. [available online at: id=2600 ]

Wootton, J. (1999), Replacing the private car. Transport reviews..,19(2), pp. 157-175

ITS (2003), Knowledge Base on Sustainable Land Use and Transport,

Buehler, R., and Pucher, J., (2011), Sustainable Transport in Freiburg: Lessons from Germany’s Environmental Capital, International journal of sustainable transportation. 5, pp.43–70 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

The following links give more information on Curitiba, Brazil:

(3). INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS (RAIL). Compare the institutional arrangements for the provision of rail passenger services in Britain to those of the following countries, identifying the advantages and disadvantages of the different approaches: Germany, France, Sweden. 

Alexandersson G and Hulten S (2007), Competitive tendering of regional and interregional rail services in Sweden In European Conference of Ministers of Transport (2007) Competitive tendering of rail services., ECMT, Paris.

Alexandersson G (2009), Rail Privatisation and Competitive Tendering in Europe. Built environment., vol 35, no 1, p. 37-52

Beckers T, Haunerland F, von Hirschhausen, C and Walter M (2009): Long-Distance Passenger Rail Services in Europe: Market Access Models and Implications for Germany, ITF Discussion Paper No. 2009-22, Paris, OECD. Available online at:

Brenck H and Peter M (2007), Experience with Competitive Tendering in Germany In European Conference of Ministers of Transport (2007) Competitive tendering of rail services., ECMT, Paris.

Community of European Railways (2005), Public service transport in the European Union: an overview. Brussels.

Kain P (2007), The Pitfalls in Competitive Tendering: Experience in Australia and Britain in European Conference of Ministers of Transport (2007) Competitive tendering of rail services, ECMT, Paris.

Nash, C.A., (2008), Passenger Railway Reform in the Last 20 Years – European Experience. Research in transportation economics.. 22(1): 61-70

Preston, J M (2009), Trends in European Railways over the Last Two Decades, Built environment. Vol 35 No 1 Available as an Online Course Reading in Minerva

Smith, A S J,  Nash C A and Wheat P (2009), Passenger rail franchising in Britain: has it been a success? Rivista internazionale di economia dei trasporti = International journal of transport economics. 36(1) 33-62. 

Van Dijk (2007), Tendering and decentralisation of regional rail passenger services in the Netherlands, 1997-2005 In European Conference of Ministers of Transport (2007) Competitive tendering of rail services., ECMT, Paris. .

Nash, Chris (2011) Competition and Regulation in Rail Transport, in André de Palma, Robin Lindsey, Emile Quinet, Roger Vickerman, eds, A handbook of transport economics, Edward Elgar.

Nash, Chris, Nilsson, Jan Eric, Link, Heike (2013), Comparing three models for introduction of competition into railways. Journal of transport economics and policy., 47(2) 191-20

Gomez-Ibanez, J.A. and de Rus, G. (eds.) (2006), Competition in the railway industry : an international comparative analysis. Edward Elgar

van de Welde, D., C.A.Nash, A.Smith, F.Mizutani, S.Uranishi, M.Lijesen, F.Zschoche (2012) EVES-rail. ‘Economic effects of vertical separation in the railway sector’, Brussels: Community of European Railways. ( Available online at:

Henry, C and Quinet E (1999) Which Railways Policy and Organisation for France? Journal of transport economics and policy. 33(1) 119-126

(4). INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS (BUS). What are the advantages and disadvantages of the following approaches to the provision of bus services – free competition, franchising and quality partnerships?

CPT (2006), On the move. [available on: ]

DfT (2006), Putting passengers first: the government’s proposals for a modernised national framework for bus services. London.

Grayling, T. (ed) (2001), Any more fares? : delivering better bus services. IPPR London. Especially chapters 1,2,5,7 & 10

Butcher, L. (2012), Buses: franchising,

Butcher, L. (2012), Buses: Policy and administration,

Competition Commission (2011), Local Bus Services Market Investigation, Provisional findings report,

Mackie, P. and Preston, J. (1996), The local bus market : a case study of regulatory change. Avebury, Aldershot.

Matthews, B., Bristow, A.L. and Nash, C.A. (2001), Competitive tendering and deregulation in the British bus market : a comparison of impacts on costs and demand in London and the British Metropolitan Areas. Paper to 7th Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport, Molde 2001

PTEG (2006), The Decline in Bus Services in the English PTE areas: The NERA report [available on: under publications]

White, P R (2008), Factors affecting the decline in bus use in the metropolitan areas, PTE Group, Leeds (available on

Preston, J. and Almutairi, T., (2013), Evaluating the long term impacts of transport policy: An initial assessment of bus deregulation, Research in transportation economics., Vol. 39, p 208-214

(5) FARES AND TICKETING. Many European cities have adopted simplified public transport fare structures and ticketing (Pucher and Kurth, 1995) often including free fares for pensioners. Compare the advantages and disadvantages from the point of view of the different stakeholders involved? Should local authorities and operators promote this type of measure?

White (chapter 7)

Vuchic (2005) (chapter 7)

Grayling (chapters 4, 5, 7 and 10)

Booz and Co (2009), The Benefits of Simplified and Integrated Ticketing in Public Transport,

Fitzroy and Smith (1999), Public transport demand in Freiburg: why did patronage double in a decade? Transport policy., 5, pp.163-173

Matas, A. (2004), Demand and revenue implications of an integrated public transport policy: the case of Madrid. Transport reviews., 24(2), pp.195-217

Pucher J and Kurth S (1995), Verkehrsverbund: the success of regional public transport in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Transport policy., 2(4), pp.279-291

TCRP (2000), Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes(Chapter 12 – Transit Pricing and Fares)
[available on ]

White, P.R. (1981), Travelcard tickets in urban public transport. Journal of transport economics and policy., vol. XV, no.1, January, pp.17-34

White, P.R. (1984) User response to price changes: application of the ‘threshold’ concept. Transport reviews., 4(4), pp. 367-86.

(6) INTEGRATED NETWORK PLANNING. It has been claimed that adequate coordination between modes and between services is a key factor for the success of public transport (Pucher and Kurth, 1998). How important is coordination in making public transport more competitive? What types of measures are likely to be most effective in increasing patronage?

Vuchic (2007) (chapter 4 and parts of chapter 5)

White Book (chapter 8)

Hine, J. and Scott, J. (2000), Seamless, accessible travel: users’ views of the public transport journey and interchange. Transport policy. ,  7(3), pp. 217-226

Keijer, M.J.N. and Rietveld, P. (2000), How do people get to the railway station? The Dutch experience. Transportation planning and technology. , 23 , pp. 215–235

Liu, R., Pendyala, R.M. and Polzin, S. (1997), Assessment of intermodal transfer penalties using stated preference data. Transportation research record., 1607, pp.74-80

Pucher, J. and Kurth, S. (1995), Verkehrsverbund: the success of regional public transport in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Transport policy., 2(4), pp.279-291

TCRP (2000), Traveler Response to Transportation System Changes (Chapter 9 – Transit Scheduling and Frequency) [available on ]

John Preston et al  (2008), On the Move: delivering integrated transport in Britain’s cities,

Preston, John (2010) What’s so funny about peace, love and transport integration? Research in transportation economics.., 29, (1), 329-338.

VDV (2009), Transport Alliances - Promoting Cooperation & Integration to offer a more attractive and efficient Public Transport,


Outline the role that public transport plays in supporting economic growth. The bus service receives a fraction of the attention given to rail and car yet despite being taken for granted, it is a vital cog in the wheel of the local economy. Using examples of best practice in Brighton and Nottingham, show how bus services support the local economy and the factors determining the success of bus operations in these areas.

The Eddington Report (2006),

Greener Journeys

Department for Transport (2005), Transport, Wider Economic Benefits, and Impacts on GDP, /http:/

HS2 (2012), Economic Case for HS2: Updated appraisal of transport user benefits and wider economic benefits: A report to Government by HS2 Ltd,

This list was last updated on 04/10/2018