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Call for Papers: Themed volume on "The future of public transport" to be edited by John D Nelson and

The nature of public transport has changed considerably over recent decades with a gradual move away from the traditional focus on fixed route, fixed schedule bus services provided by large vehicles and heavily subsidised bus and rail services. With an increased passenger preference for personalisation of travel opportunities (initially encouraged by mass motorisation and now facilitated by ICT applications) and the emergence of shared transport solutions, it is imperative that the public transport sector confronts the changing nature of the business and determines what the future of public transport could look like.

The aim of this Research in Transportation and Business Management themed volume is to take a close look at the changing nature of public transport by analysing the traditional ingredients of success (good service design, awareness of and responsiveness to customer needs, deployment of technology as an enabler...) and considering the external factors that are shaping the future of public transport, such as the emergence of the sharing economy and (so-called) new mobility modes, automation and changing financing regimes.

In taking a future look we are mindful that the future for public transport in urban areas is likely to be very different (e.g. MaaS type solutions which defer the need for car ownership?) to that in suburban/peri urban (a need for more intermodal journeys perhaps involving car legs - car ownership will remain high), which is very different to that in rural areas (car ownership still dominates - public transport increasingly serves only main corridors to/between large cities and local services are heavily subsidised serving socially excluded). Authors are encouraged to consider the changing role of public authorities / private entities in supplying and managing services and supporting infrastructure in these different environments and also to consider the land-use dimension of their contributions.

Papers are encouraged by theme (see below) and the following have been identified, although this is not an exclusive list:

  • Wider context
  • Enablers of successful public transport systems
  • Technology
  • “Case studies”
  • Impacts of public transport

Abstracts (250 words) need to be received no later than 31st October 2018. Full papers will be required by 30th April 2019 and then refereed.

Abstracts should be sent to with copy to


Themed volume on “The future of public transport”

Wider context

Where does public transport fit within future of mobility?

The emergence of the sharing economy and the implications for public transport

Financing (public) transport


Enablers of successful public transport systems

The influence of regulatory environments on public transport service provision

Are partnerships the future?

Understanding the relationship between public transport and land use

Why the customer is important…

Maintaining quality of service

Passenger information as a facilitator of ‘seamless’ intermodal public transport journeys from



Smart cards and public transport


The bus of the future [vehicle focus]

What does autonomy mean for the public transport sector?


“Case studies”

High speed rail: recent developments in China

The changing nature of paratransit / flexible transport services

Informal transport and developing countries

Bus Rapid Transit

Light Rail

The emergence of MaaS

The use of (big) data for planning / managing services and for shaping policy


Impacts of public transport

Public transport and social inclusion

Health benefits of public transport

Environmental benefits of public transport

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