A Complex View of a Rural Transport System (Bwcabus)

Owen Clark, Christopher Lee

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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    Since 2009, the Wales Transport Research Centre has enjoyed success with the Bwcabus project. Bwcabus has given rural communities around Newcastle Emlyn and Lampeter a fully accessible, on-demand, local bus service.

    The aim of this paper is to reflect critically on the dominant theory of management discourse in the context of its traditional application to public transport systems. It challenges the view that the role of the ‘professional management’ within such a system attempts to gain control, certainty, and complete information in which to manage, consequently constraining such a system and hindering its adaptiveness, co-evolution and emergence.

    This discussion reveals the theoretical position of Complexity (CAS) within a Human Active System such as Bwcabus. It also challenges the role of ‘managerialism’ on the micro-level planning of transport systems and draws upon the insights of a more emasculating and emancipatory theories of Complex Evolving Systems. This emerges a different set of strategic insights for Bwcabus including communication strategies, the perceived needs and motivation of passengers and the adaptive not paternalistic measures required. The conclusion drawn from this argument is that Bwcabus pragmatically acts within the naturally organic characteristics of the theoretical discourse known as complexity theory.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Jan 2014
    EventUniversities’ Transport Study Group (UTSG) Conference 2014 - Newcastle, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Jan 20148 Jan 2014


    ConferenceUniversities’ Transport Study Group (UTSG) Conference 2014
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Complex Evolving Systems
    • Human Active Systems
    • Managerialism
    • Demand Responsive Transport System


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