En Route to Better Performance: Tackling the Complexities of Public Transport Governance

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Abstract

Travelling in most cities today is time consuming, uncomfortable, and unsafe. Excessive traffic congestion significantly restricts people’s access to basic services and opportunities, and ultimately impacts individuals’ fundamental right to freedom of movement. Moreover, increased emissions from vehicles are at the root of the global climate emergency, affecting not only the entire urban population, but also jeopardising future generations. It is imperative to change this trajectory and drive cities towards more sustainable mobility with increased use of collective public transport. Whilst it is recognised that the governance of public transport systems plays a central enabling role in improving public transport to make it more attractive to users and financially sustainable, little is know about how to do this, i.e. about the complex causal relation between governance and performance. Drawing on a mixed-method research design, with qualitative and quantitative analyses of multiple cities worldwide, this thesis analyses how the governance of public transport (including the introduction of innovation such as mobility as a service) influences the performance of these systems, eventually contributing to the achievement of broader goals such as sustainability, efficiency, and accessibility.