Mass_Transit_June_2021 - 28

A Study in
Collaboration
A study from UITP details best practices and
benefits from a collaborative relationship
between transit authorities and contractors.
By Mischa Wanek-Libman, executive editor
C
OLLABORATION, TRANSparency
and respect for the
expertise of involved parties
should be the foundation of
contractual agreements between
transit authorities and
contractors. A study released
in April 2021 from the International
Association of Public
Transport (UITP) and commissioned
by the North American
Transit Alliance (NATA) states
this is the only way both parties
should approach the relationship
if it is to reach its full potential.
The study, " Contracting in
Transit: the Value and Benefits
of Private Contracting in North
America and Internationally to
Meet Passenger Needs, " interviews
eight authorities (four in
North America, four operating
internationally) to highlight the
benefits of using contracted transit
operations.
UITP recognizes there are
many ways to deliver daily services
and contractual models are
influenced by " context, culture
and history of a location, " but all
should strive to be win-win partnerships.
Best practices presented
in the study touch on the scope
of the award process, contractual
framework and partner relationships
between the parties.
UITP Director of Strategy
Sylvain Haon explains the association
is not advocating for one
model over another, but believes
the study helps communicate what
benefits are possible through use
of third-party companies and,
more importantly, how those benefits
can be achieved.
Chairman of NATA and President
of First Transit and First Vehicle
Services Brad Thomas says
NATA wanted the study to benefit
transit authorities.
" We are passionate about the
value that contracting brings
to the market, but we really felt
the need to challenge ourselves
by commissioning this study to
review how contracting public
transportation works around the
world from the perspective of
those who hire contractors, " explained
Thomas.
Procuring a Good Start
The study notes one of the keys
to delivering on the full potential
of the contracting relationship is
through the procurement process.
" We are talking about a complex
procurement process and
fairly complex contracts with
public authorities and their counterparts.
And the procurement
process, to a certain extent, defines
the terms of the contracts, "
said Haon. " If you get that wrong,
then the incentives around the
allocation of risk is wrong and
you don't build the partnership,
which is another key element
mentioned [in the study]. "
Haon explains promoting a
phase of dialogue during the procurement
process can help provide
28 | Mass Transit | MassTransitmag.com | JUNE 2021
UITP
http://www.MassTransitmag.com

Mass_Transit_June_2021

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