A new law on public transport came into effect in Finland in December 2009. According to the new law, regulators are not allowed to restrict competition between bus companies, unless it is necessary for ensuring adequate quantity and quality of transport services. Until 2009 bus companies had to apply for and be granted a licence for operating any given connection, which restricted competition between bus companies.
In this brief I look at how the Finnish long-distance bus market has changed from 2006 to 2017. The changes indicate that deregulating entry into the long-distance bus market has benefitted consumers. The supply of long-distance bus connections has increased and, on average, bus ticket fares have ceased to increase. These changes are to a large extent due to the deregulation of the long-distance bus market. Along with the new law, bus companies have become able to enter new routes and increase the number of connections where demand is high. As a result, the number of passengers has increased substantially.