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Understanding the governance of reforms to urban transport in developing cities

Kamal Batcha, Syed Fatimah Binti (2013) Understanding the governance of reforms to urban transport in developing cities. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Numerous international development agencies and researchers advocate the use of dedicated transport authorities in urban areas as a means for strengthening the institutional frameworks needed to improve transport services in cities. While such bodies are widespread in developed countries, little is known about the benefits and drawbacks of their use in developing Asian cities. The very different institutional contexts into which such management would be integrated raise some interesting questions as to how effective such models could be in these cities. This thesis examines two transport authorities that have been created to improve the coordination of urban transport in the Asian region – the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) in Malaysia, and the Bangalore Metropolitan Land Transport Authority (BMLTA) in Bangalore, India. The aim is to explore the motivations underpinning the reforms and the creation of these two bodies, as well as to understand how the reforms have subsequently unfolded in terms of their implementation, these agencies’ abilities to implement their plans, the outcomes they have achieved and the problems they experience. This research utilises a qualitative approach to undertake a cross-national case study through semi-structured interviews of stakeholders in the urban transport sector, including civil servants, politicians, private sector workers and academics. The data from these interviews was augmented by assessment of written materials. The findings show how the creation and empowerment of SPAD and the BMLTA have been influenced by contextual factors and constraints that arose during their implementation. These findings also provide insights into factors that determine the performance of these authorities. The creation of SPAD and BMLTA which aimed to change the way urban transport was governed in their contexts, has only provided a partial degree of success. The reforms have been successful in Malaysia to a certain extent as it has a clear operational mandate. By contrast, in Bangalore, the reforms have achieved only weak coordination. The reforms were dominated by the existing institutional landscape and power struggles. With strong political leadership, some aspects of this can be overcome, but not to the extent that these bodies have control over the range of policy tools needed to deliver a truly integrated transport strategies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
ISBN: 978-0-85731-505-2
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > Institute for Transport Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.589308
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2014 11:47
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:48
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4977

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