Implementing Bus Reform Institutional Dimensions Christopher Zegras Manuel Tironi Onesimo Flores Dewey Matías Fernandez
Research Objectives• Understand, from the planning, policy and sociological perspectives, the political hurdles facing bus system reform in Latin America – With potential implications beyond (e.g., Africa)• Document and analyze how reform proponents navigate tensions with, and address the concerns, of: a) Existing transport operators, and b) Civil society, more generally.• “Soft” tech transfer
Research questions1. How and why do reform projects change in response to pressure from social groups?2. What institutional devices and negotiation strategies best cope with conflict and integration?3. How do similar bus reform projects in different cities compare?4. What consequences does the participation (or lack of thereof) of stakeholders in the design and operation of the new system have on the effectiveness and legitimacy of the resulting system?
Methods• Two research units: – MIT: Focusing on negotiations with transport operators – PUC: Focusing on “public engagement”• Collaborative framework: – Jointly developed case selection framework and research method. – Ongoing dialogue and feedback • Online meetings, research workshops, public seminar
Methods• Structured, focused comparison of case studies.• Fieldwork: – MIT and PUC fieldwork in the two case cities. • ~140 in-depth semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders (March-August, 2012) – Experts – Politicians involved in design and implementation processes. – Community leaders. – Scholars • Reviewed official documents, technical studies, financial reports, operating contracts, newspapers, other written material, websites
Case selection1) Implementation strategiesin transitioning incumbent busindustry into BRT• “force-foster continuum”2) Reform approaches• Piecemeal: “evolution”• System-wide: “revolution” (Big Bang)
Foster change Type A: e.g. Mexico City Type B: e.g. Leon Incorporate incumbents, no Incorporate incumbents, no competition competition Incremental expansion, different “Big Bang”: All (or most) services conditions agreed at each stage simultaneously transformed Non-integrated, Feeder, other services Integrated, corridors, feeders, etc. all continue operations without change subject to new rulesEvolution Revolution Type C: e.g. Quito Type D: e.g. Santiago Introduce new actors, maintaining Introduce new actors, maintaining incumbents operators not priority incumbents operators not priority Incremental expansion, different “Big Bang” All (or most) services simultaneously transformed. conditions agreed at each stage Integrated, corridors, feeders, etc. all Non-integrated, Feeder, other services subject to new rules continue operations without change Force change
The case of Mexico City (2002) 106 organizations (“rutas”), formed by owners of individual bus concessions operating 22,850 minibuses, 2,271 buses and 3,094 vans. Most linked around a few informal groups, known as “cúpulas”.
Fostering BRT in Mexico City“Replacing (incumbent operators) was never apossibility for us, because it represented a social, a political and a legal problem. What, are yougoing to displace all these people from night tomorning without offering them an alternative?” Claudia Sheimbaum
Fostering BRT in Mexico City“We deal with 2 fundamental premises: First, negotiate with pre-existing operators terms that will get them to participate in the system. Second, relocate those that choose not to participate to a viable feeder route, and compensate their income loss by giving them taxi medallions” Officer at SETRAVI
The case of Santiago, Chile (2001) 119 organizations (“asociaciones gremiales”), formed by owners of individual bus concessions operating 8,179 vehicles. Most linked around a few Federations, notably the Asociación Gremial Metropolitana de Transporte Público (AGMPT).
Forcing bus reform in Santiago “We had a tiger roaming the streets of the city and we needed to place it in a cage. This unregulated tiger was destroying, killing, causing most of the accidents… our task was to put it in the cage of a State that regulates” German Correa
Strategic adjustments: Forcing-Fostering-Forcing Forced Dissolution of Initial BRT plans, Public costs (and Ruta 100, political mandate to operator’s informal buses continue only with expectations) riseMexico “tolerated” incumbents’ support Fostered 1995 2002 2010 Forced Route-based tenders, PTUS planning Contract terms Cartel rigging bids advances, operators tightened, several and influencing protest, tender terms incumbent-formed terms softened for companies exit systemSantiago AGMPT Fostered 1991 2001 2007-8
Industry Reform: Main Findings Mexico City SantiagoSuccesses Scrapped ~ 900 small, Opened industry to external underutilized minibuses competition Substituted with 284 BRT Broke cartel buses Transformed several quasi- Transformed numerous informal asociaciones gremiales quasi-informal rutas into 7 into professional, accountable professional, accountable firms firms.Challenges Sustainability of reform “Partially” Open: space& • Negotiations increasingly reserved for incumbents (3/5Observations complex trunks & 9/10 feeders) • Subsidies increasing Transition phase reduced Integration elusive operator costs History can help Prior decade (90s) prepared some operators for reform Subsidies increasing?
Public Engagement: Main Findings Mexico City SantiagoHow the project was Progressive discourse: social Modernizing discourse: to bejustified? sustainability. a first-world city.Which restrictions Sociopolitical restrictions: Economic restrictions:are recognized? how to satisfy all incumbent excessively low budget, outside and within the suspicion against subsidies. government.Where to intervene? “Donde se pueda”: routes “En la red completa”: routes determined by political defined by computing feasibility. programs.How the ‘citizen’ is As a “militant”: a priori As a “user”: accommodate-defined? opponent. able, behavior can be modeled.Who participates in “Everything is negotiable”: Decision-making limited todecision-making? everyone with a stake experts (transport engineers) participates. and high-ranking authorities.How powerful is the Weak government; strong Extremely strong government;government? clientelistic networks. technocratic culture.
“Extension” Opportunities• Lessons for other cities in Chile and Mexico – Negotiation “stance” and public engagement approach• Applications in rest of region and beyond (e.g, Africa, Asia) with similar industry structures and reform intentions (BRT revolution)• Propagate lessons through BRT ALC – Which has co-financed the research
ConclusionsNegotiation stance with operators• Both approaches opened a window for reform• Bus organization leaders prioritize role as entrepreneurs over role as trade-union representatives.• Convergence of “forcing” and “fostering” transitions – “Forcing" strategies relaxed to minimize political conflict and investment costs – “Fostering" strategies tightened to avoid legitimizing rent- seeking behavior and limit spiraling public subsidyPublic Engagement• Larger economic philosophy and technocracy influences approach and perspectives• How different is ultimate outcome?
Tentative “meta” conclusions• Politics matters• Force-fostering process is pendelum – Ongoing calibration process – Fostering cost (initial political buy-in) eventually leads to forcing correction – Forcing cost requires eventual accomodation• Specific politico-cultural conditions seem to propel (or hamper) ‘fostering’ or ‘forcing’ strategies – Technocratic versus clientelistic powers