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Advances in Operations Research
Volume 2009, Article ID 721279, 15 pages
Research Article

Technical and Scale Efficiency in Spanish Urban Transport: Estimating with Data Envelopment Analysis

Department of Administration and Business, Faculty of Economy, University of Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, Edificio FES, 37007 Salamanca, Spain

Received 10 October 2008; Revised 15 January 2009; Accepted 24 February 2009

Academic Editor: Walter J. Gutjahr

Copyright © 2009 I. M. García Sánchez. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The paper undertakes a comparative efficiency analysis of public bus transport in Spain using Data Envelopment Analysis. A procedure for efficiency evaluation was established with a view to estimating its technical and scale efficiency. Principal components analysis allowed us to reduce a large number of potential measures of supply- and demand-side and quality outputs in three statistical factors assumed in the analysis of the service. A statistical analysis (Tobit regression) shows that efficiency levels are negative in relation to the population density and peak-to-base ratio. Nevertheless, efficiency levels are not related to the form of ownership (public versus private). The results obtained for Spanish public transport show that the average pure technical and scale efficiencies are situated at 94.91 and 52.02%, respectively. The excess of resources is around 6%, and the increase in accessibility of the service, one of the principal components summarizing the large number of output measures, is extremely important as a quality parameter in its performance.