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Should I Go by Bus? The Liberalization of the Long-Distance Bus Industry in France

Transport Policy, vol. 56, pp. 50-62, 2017

33 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2017  

Thierry Blayac

Université Montpellier

Patrice Bougette

Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG

Date Written: 2017

Abstract

The opening up of the French long-distance bus industry is one of the outcomes of the Loi Macron. In this study, we build a unique data set of several representative bus routes and show that the effects of the liberalization have been encouraging in terms of fares, new entry, higher frequency, and higher quality. First, with regard to international routes that used to be under cabotage, we find that relaxing quantitative restrictions has led to the expected results on the Lyon-Torino and Paris-London routes. Second, with regard to domestic routes newly created from the Loi Macron, mostly all procompetitive expected variations in the variables have been observed, except for fares. Indeed, we show that bus operators used an initial aggressive pricing strategy to induce demand for the new services and then increased fares once customers became accustomed with the service.

Keywords: Transportation services, deregulation, bus industry, Loi Macron, intermodal competition, France

JEL Classification: L43, L91, G38, R40

Suggested Citation

Blayac, Thierry and Bougette, Patrice, Should I Go by Bus? The Liberalization of the Long-Distance Bus Industry in France (2017). Transport Policy, vol. 56, pp. 50-62, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2934877

Thierry Blayac

Université Montpellier ( email )

Montpellier, 34099
France

Patrice Bougette (Contact Author)

Université Côte d'Azur, CNRS, GREDEG ( email )

GREDEG CNRS
250, rue Albert Einstein
Valbonne, 06560
France

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/patricebougette/Home

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