The federalist reform, recently launched in Italy, brought to the revision of the financing mechanisms of public institutions. These ones will no longer be based on the historical expense of public entities but on the calculation of specific standard costs, useful to define the standard financing needs of public institutions. In such a framework, this paper investigates the conditions for the applicability of standard costs methodology to local public transport companies, providing insights about its benefits and limitations in a context of crisis caused by the application of low fees. Beyond the difficulties to calculate the standard costs, the study seems to show the motivational effects produced by the standard costs methodology and the benefits coming from its use as a guideline for selecting providers.
Keywords: Standard cost, federalist reform, financing rules, public transport.