This paper tries to evaluate the productive performance of transit systems in major European cities. It makes intermodal and intercity comparisons, and identifies economies of density, vehicle capacity and higher vehicle speed as essential factors in performance. The results suggest that streetcars do not fill a significant gap between buses and underground rail.
Topic: 15. Productivity
The study examines competition between privately and publicly owned booking centres in the Swedish taxi market by studying technical efficiency, and breaking down technical efficiency into managerial and organisational efficiency. The main results are that a large amount of technical efficiency exists and that no direct relationship between technical efficiency and type of ownership can be found.
British ports provide a “laboratory” of mixed ownership enterprises. This paper applies stochastic frontier models to test the relative efficiency of public compared with private enterprises. The finding is supportive of the view that efficiency gains from privatisation may be limited if the change involves the transfer of ownership from the public to the private sector only.
Economic Efficiency of Railways and Implications for Public Policy: A Comparative Study of the OECD Countries’ Railways
The productive efficiency of the railway systems in 19 OECD countries is analysed. The empirical results show that: (i) railway systems with high dependence on public subsidies are significantly less efficient than similar railways with less dependence on subsidies; (ii) railways with a high degree of managerial autonomy from regulatory authorities tend to achieve higher efficiency.
This paper measures productivity growth in Irish railways for the period 1973-83, using a translog cost approach. Results show that there has been substantial growth in productivity, because of reductions in fleet size and labour and increases in traffic. Changes in freight handling were also shown to be significant.
Deregulation and the Capacity, Productivity and Technical Efficiency of Equipment of Former trunk Airlines
This study estimates the impact of deregulation on various average physical output measures of aircraft. It concludes (1) deregulation has not led to the sizing down of aircraft in the former trunk carrier fleets and (2) the deregulated environment has permitted carriers to exploit the technological advances made in the aircraft acquired.
Measures of the total factor productivity and unit costs of 14 US and 27 non-US airlines in 1983 indicate that the US has a 12 per cent productivity advantage, partially offset by higher labour prices resulting in equivalent unit costs for the US and non-US carriers. Higher productivity levels are the result of higher traffic density. Deregulation is unlikely to close the productivity gap unless non-US carriers increase their traffic density.
In the long run all bus systems are found to have diseconomies of scale. Management should try to reduce costs, especially by improving the productivity of fuel.
Total factor productivity is measured by a new technique. It appears that in bus transport during the 1970s average cost has fallen and efficiency has risen; but the result may be biased by the use of revenue (possibly including subsidies) as a measure of output.
Earlier research into the turnaround of grain vessels in the Port of Vancouver supported the “larger ship longer time in port” hypothesis. This paper presents evidence to show that the hypothesis is invalid for general cargo ships which used the Port of Hong Kong in 1973.