Role of Markets in the Indian Road Transport System
TWCF Number
Project Duration
December 1 / 2022
- November 30 / 2024
Core Funding Area
Individual Freedom and Free Markets
Amount Awarded

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Dharmarajan Dhanuraj
Institution Centre for Public Policy Research

To promote sustainable and livable urban environments, private, public and non-motorized transport must functionally complement each other. An effective and competitive public transportation system adds complementary strengths and significantly improves accessibility and social mobility. However, in many Indian states and cities, transportation is characterized by dominance of private vehicles. There is a need for evidence-based research that captures the role played by the private sector in supporting not just the mobility of commuters, but also providing socio-economic support directly and indirectly to a large workforce. 

A project directed by Dharmarajan Dhanuraj with the co-direction of Edsley Daniel Neoson and Madhu Sivaraman at Centre for Public Policy Research aims to document the current practices of bus transport in India. The documentation will highlight the success stories of how the private service providers were able to adapt and function in a sector highly regulated by the State, adding relevant resources to an unexplored area in academic literature. The project will adopt a rigorous mixed-methods approach to study three Indian states and five Indian cities that attempted different models of private partnership in public transport. The objective is to document different operating models, the strengths of their operations, and their challenges in the implementation.

The research aims to suggest institutional mechanisms to promote best practices, while also resolving the loopholes identified in any model. The larger objective of this research is to influence decision-makers and policy. The study hopes to build on a narrative that emboldens private participation through free and fair competition.

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