Incentive schemes for bus drivers: The case of the public transit system in Santiago, Chile

Author: Tiznado, I., Galilea, P., Delgado, F. and Niehaus, M. (2014)

Journal: Research in Transportation Economics 48, 77-83

Keywords: Bus drivers, Incentive schemes, Contracts, Labour conditions, Transantiago, Transportation

Although many authors have studied regulatory schemes for bus operators of public transport provision, little attention has been given to incentive schemes for bus drivers in terms of economic incentives and labour conditions. Therefore, there is a need to analyse incentive schemes for bus drivers since the level of service of the bus system is dependent on their behaviour. The main objective of this paper is to analyse the current conditions for bus drivers in Santiago, Chile, find the main drives that influence their behaviour and compare labour conditions between different operators. We focus our study on the case of Transantiago using interviews with 100 drivers working for several bus operators. The results of our survey show that drivers in our sample prefer incentives linked to their operational performance rather than consumer satisfaction; drivers also mention that users of buses treat them poorly and are an important source of working stress; and drivers’ working conditions differ dramatically between operators. Preliminary actions are proposed regarding drivers’ salary in order to improve operator performance and several measures are proposed to authorities so as to even out conditions between operators, enhance passenger driver relationship and ensure that shifts and rest times are honoured.