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Incentive Schemes for Bus Drivers: the case of the public transit system in Santiago de Chile


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Although many authors have studied regulatory schemes for bus operators of public transport provision, little attention has been given to incentive schemes towards 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 performance of the bus system it is related to their behaviour. The main objective of this paper is to analyse the current conditions of bus drivers in Santiago of Chile, find the main drivers that influence their behaviour and compare the labour conditions between different operators. We will focus our study in the case of Transantiago, through interviews to 100 drivers working for several bus operators. Our survey’s results show that drivers on our sample prefer incentives linked with their operational performance rather than consumer’s satisfaction; drivers mention systematically that users of buses treat them badly and are an important source of working stress; and driver’s working conditions differ dramatically among operators. Thus, preliminary actions are proposed regarding driver’s salary in order to improve operator’s performance and several measures are proposed to authorities in order to even out driver’s situation among operators, enhance passengers and driver’s relationship, and ensure that drivers’ shifts and resting times are honoured.

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