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Who is taking care of the passenger?: Are there any motives for a governmental funded passenger organization in Sweden?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Geography and Economic History, Economic and social geography.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Sweden lacks a powerful advocate who can represent the passengers in the public transport sector. In conjunction with the liberalization of the public transport market, the bus and rail services that have been opened up for competition and the allocation of responsibility within public transport has been divided into a several amount of actors. The liberalization has been positive for the passengers by a wider supply of transport services and also resulted in new service incentives. Within the commercial rail traffic market there is now a variety of tickets in different price ranges. The railway has also been vertical separated into operating traffic and infrastructure management, which have resulted in uncertain accountability at disruptions, for passengers such as the traffic operators. Since the Swedish Transport Administration Trafikverket nowadays procures the maintenance of the railway, the authority has been criticized losing control over their facility.

The new Public Transport Act was introduced in 2010 and provides the local and regional public transport to be procured by the regional public transport authorities. They decide which traffic in the region that should be offered as obligated service that will be subsidised. The state has been reticent in interfering with the regional authorities but has simultaneously in several governmental investigations identified shortcomings in public transport, for example in the systems for ticketing and information. On voluntary bases the industry has been collaborated since a long time for developing such common platforms but the progress has been slow. However the actors introduced a common digital portal for information and ticketing in January 2015.

In Denmark and in the United Kingdom there are governmental funded passenger organizations today that comprise operations in quality measurements of public transport and offering support to vulnerable passengers. The organizations are trying to achieve improvements in supply, or demand economic compensation for the passengers in case of traffic disruption.

With the Government's recent appropriation direction to Trafikverket, the authority now may support non-profit organizations activities that harmonize with the national transport policy objectives, which mean that financial support could be disbursed to the non-profit passenger organization Resenärsforum, which is the leading passenger organization in Sweden today. An establishment of a new authority, to ensure the passengers' interests would require a more comprehensive governmental investigation. Rather, the state needs to take responsibility by establishing a national traffic service program that could clarify the division of responsibilities among existing authorities. That could also comprise commission for actors, as well public as private, for example in operation passenger information at traffic disruptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 50 p.
Keyword [en]
Passenger organization, public transport, passengers, liberalized market, advocacy
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-105331OAI: diva2:824712
2015-05-29, S306, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-23 Created: 2015-06-22 Last updated: 2015-06-23Bibliographically approved

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