International Transport Forum Discussion Paper 2015-08
The responsibility for ordinary public transport and the various special transport services are in the hands of several different authorities and organisations in Norway. Grappling with questions about how to keep the costs down, while retaining a good quality service level in rural areas, there is increasing interest in innovative solutions of coordination among public authorities as well as demand-responsive transport services. Evidence suggests that demand responsive transport pilots are popular among the users; however, their popularity makes them expensive. In contrast, integration of special passenger transportation services include benefits such as increased economic savings. A more efficient use of vehicles and more passengers per vehicle contribute to such effects. However, such coordination of transportation services increases the travel time for existing passengers. It is likely to meet resistance from certain powerful user groups. In addition, there are certain organisational barriers, given the different responsibilities and experiences of the various public authorities - at different political levels and sectors - that are responsible for the services today. Another issue is that coordination may decrease the transportation preparedness in sparsely populated areas, where taxi companies may be dependent on public contracts to keep a minimum basis of income.