Low-cost bus business models and the case of Brazil

  • Roberto Marx University of São Paulo, Department of Industrial Engineering
  • Pedro Siqueira de Magalhães University of São Paulo, Department of Industrial Engineering
  • Felipe Ferreira de Lara Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of São Paulo
Keywords: Business models, Transport policy, Bus market, Low-cost bus


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify low-costbus business models from different parts of the world and check their applicability in the Brazilian market. It also identifies crucial factors for the development of that kind of business and investigates the relationship between low-cost buses and other modes of transport. This research analyzes every relevant aspect to the applicability of low-cost business models in Brazil, driving to discussions and conclusions. The gains on the development of low-cost bus systems in Brazil may have a wide reach, from personal to general public benefits. Design/methodology/approach – Business models for low-cost bus systems are used to analyze in a qualitative approach. The data are collected through semi-structured interviews, direct observations and documental basis. In addition, innovations over the previous five years are evaluated in order to establish a comparative pattern between companies. Findings – There is a great potential in the Brazilian passenger market for the entrance of low-cost bus companies. The only question is just when it is the right time to enter that market. Most of the negative points presented for the implementation of a low-cost company are related to the current economical and political crisis in Brazil. It was identified as a potential cause for the overall decrease of the passengers market in recent years, and specifically of the bus passengers market. Originality/value – The recent regulation changes, the high demand for passengers and even the similarity of possible routes in Brazil to the ones in Europe and in the USA make Brazil a fertile soil for the development of that kind of business. A similar price mechanism to the ones applied worldwide was also identified as doable in Brazil.


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How to Cite
Marx, R., Magalhães, P., & Lara, F. (2020). Low-cost bus business models and the case of Brazil. REGE Revista De Gestão, 27(1), 100-115. https://doi.org/10.1108/REGE-05-2019-0061