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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Schedule Jockeying and Route Swamping: A Property Right Interpretation of British Bus Deregulation


The experience of British bus deregulation has resulted in less on-the-road competition than anticipated, and a high degree of industry concentration. We argue that the specific form of deregulation in Britain has created a property rights problem in the cultivation of passenger congregations at the curb. The result has been schedule jockeying and route swamping. From a property rights perspective, the disappointing results can be seen as a commons problem. A nuanced approach to property right at bus stops, permitting scheduled service to appropriate its investment in cultivating passenger congregations, and allowing freewheeling jitneys to compete on the route, could bring the benefits that many had expected from deregulation.

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