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The interplay of formal and informal institutions between local and regional authorities when creating well-functioning public transport systems

Hrelja, Robert; Monios, Jason; Rye, Tom; Isaksson, Karolina; Scholten, Christina


Robert Hrelja

Jason Monios

Tom Rye

Karolina Isaksson

Christina Scholten


This paper analyzes how public transport planning is managed in institutional contexts where governance is spread across local and regional scales. The paper sheds light on two facets of the relationship between local and regional government: first, the decision-making process regarding where to provide public transport services and at what level, and second, integration of public transport with land use planning. An analytical matrix is used to cross-reference the roles of formal institutions (governance established in law) and informal institutions (governance not established in law) against local and regional responsibilities for public transport and land use. Analysis of the interplay between these three axes (formal/informal, local/regional, public transport/land use) reveals how informal institutions help regional and local authorities to negotiate the constraints of formal, statutory institutions and help to “oil the wheels” of delivering measures and policies that make public transport work as a well-functioning system. However, informal institutions clearly have their limits, in the paper exemplified by the remaining challenges to integrate regional public transport and local land use planning. An identified challenge is that, by their very nature, informal institutions are difficult to influence or modify, therefore relying on them to fill gaps in formal institutional responsibilities may be a risky strategy when unpopular decisions are made.


Hrelja, R., Monios, J., Rye, T., Isaksson, K., & Scholten, C. (2017). The interplay of formal and informal institutions between local and regional authorities when creating well-functioning public transport systems. International Journal of Sustainable Transportation, 11(8), 611-622.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Feb 8, 2017
Publication Date Sep 14, 2017
Deposit Date May 5, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 9, 2018
Journal International Journal of Sustainable Transportation
Print ISSN 1556-8318
Electronic ISSN 1556-8334
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 11
Issue 8
Pages 611-622
Keywords Collaboration, formal, governance, informal, institutions, organization, passenger transport, public transport
Public URL


The Interplay Of Formal And Informal Institutions Between Local And Regional Authorities When Creating Well-functioning Public Transport Systems (<nobr>506 Kb</nobr>)

Copyright Statement
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Sustainable Transportation on 08/02/2017, available online: 10.1080/15568318.2017.1292374<br /> <br /> Peer Review Statement: The publishing and review policy for this title is described in its Aims & Scope.; Aim & Scope:

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