The regulation and control of the bus industry is a long debated topic. Proponents of free competition seek complete relaxation of controls on the grounds that market forces will generate an efficient and effective service. Others seek varying levels of control and government involvement because of perceived imperfections in market forces, and loss in social welfare. This report examines the extent to which variation in the level of regulation affects public transport performance, and any resulting effect on travel patterns. The case-study material comes from five African cities, in the population range 0.4-1.5 million, whose public transport demonstrates a range of regulatory controls and development options.

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