Stage 2 Describing the Starting Point

Identify the Baseline Scenario

The baseline condition for the bus service can be identified as the closest fit to a scenario or ‘stereotype’. These provide a reference point for the assessment and for applying the toolkit. Though an exact match may not be found, a particular scenario should be recognizable to stakeholders. The five typical baseline scenarios are described below.

  • Scenario 1 : Dominant informal sector, poorly regulated
  • Scenario 2 : Dominant informal sector, orderly, basic regulation
  • Scenario 3 : Declining dominant bus operator, inadequate supply
  • Scenario 4 : Protected dominant bus operator, adequate supply
  • Scenario 5 : Developed formal passenger transport system

Table 3 Characteristics of Baseline Scenarios

Baseline Scenario Characteristics
1 Dominant informal sector, poorly regulated
  • Informal sector is the dominant supplier of urban passenger transport services
  • Regulation is weak or non-existent
  • Some services are on recognized routes, others are ad hoc
  • Services are not registered or controlled, although drivers and vehicles must be licenced
  • Industry sector consists of small companies or collectives of owner-drivers, little co-operation among them, except where an attempt is made to control them
  • Parallel 2-wheeler and/or NMV passenger transport services
  • Services encroach on each other without regulation, although they may resolve it among themselves through turf wars or strong-arm tactics
  • Low driver/vehicle standards, poor customer treatment
2 Dominant informal sector, orderly, basic regulation
  • Informal sector is dominant supplier of urban passenger transport services
  • Services are on recognized routes or corridors, using buses and minibuses
  • Services operated by many small to medium operators, or driver associations, which provide coherent organizational and operational capacity, even if not to formal bus service standards
  • Services are opened or expanded by members joining an association or a new association without confrontation against the existing operators
  • Regulated either under city supervision or by self-regulation
  • Services are basic, but reasonably orderly and absence of turf wars (may have existed in the past, but now resolved)
  • Formal service exists, but has minor role; may be residual of former large city operator
3 Declining dominant bus operator(s), inadequate supply
  • One or more large bus operators, most likely in public ownership
  • Similar to Baseline Scenario 4, the position of the operator(s) is protected by not granting route operating licences to competitors, and by enforcement against encroachment
  • The dominant bus operator(s) are in serious decline, due to combination of inefficient operations, traffic congestion, weak finances, inability to invest in new fleet, weak management
  • Dominant bus operator(s) unable to meet demand due to poor fleet condition and/ or inability to expand fleet to meet demand growth
  • City / transport authority inhibits new operator entry, will not recognize informal sector, which can only operate illegally and under harassment
  • Overall passenger transport supply inadequate, services are overcrowded, citizens dissatisfied
4 Protected dominant bus operator(s), adequate supply
  • Small number of large bus operators are the dominant form
  • Regulatory body exists, but is not as strong as in Baseline Scenario 5
  • Services are on recognized routes, for which route operating licences are issued
  • Operators have primary right of initiative for route design and service levels (either by law or de facto)
  • The dominant operators are protected both by not issuing operating licences to other operators and against illegal encroachment – i.e. (quasi-)monopoly situation
  • The routes and service levels are by and large adequate to meet the basic needs of the City
  • Level of co-ordination and customer services/facilities less than in Baseline Scenario 5
  • Informal operations exist but are not dominant and are reasonably orderly
5 Developed formal passenger transport system
  • Recognised transport authority for the City which has influence over the bus network and supply
  • Stable legal and regulatory framework
  • Defined urban and transport policies (even if not comprehensive or fully implemented)
  • High proportion of passenger services operated by buses
  • Buses operated by one or many large/medium-sized bus companies which own/lease the buses and have maintenance facilities
  • Service are on recognized routes, for which route or area licences are issued to one or more operator
  • Informal operations are not dominant and are reasonably orderly
  • Good enforcement and low levels of illegal operations
  • Some coordinated customer services and facilities
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