DESIGNING COMPETITIVE TENDERING SYSTEMS FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD: A REVIEW OF THE US EXPERIENCE

An increasing share of transit service in the United States is delivered through competitive tendering. This paper is a review of developments in the design of competitively tendered systems for bus service in the context of public policy objectives. Three principles are crucial to ensure that public objectives are met by public transit competitive tendering programs: (1) Public policy control should be retained over competitively tendered services. (2) A competitive supplier market should be fostered to ensure the most cost effective service. (3) The entire tendering process should be open to public scrutiny. A number of guidelines flow from these principles, relating to the size of tendering packages, advertisement for tenders, public disclosure, length of contract period, participation of public transit authorities in competitive tenders (including guidelines on public-private cost comparisons) and other issues. These principles and guidelines were used by the author in drafting two legislative proposals. The Colorado public transit competitive tendering act was the first mandatory tendering legislation passed with respect to any public service in the US. The model Public Transit Consumer Protection Act has been adopted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (an association of state legislators). This paper forms part of a special issue of the journal Transportation Planning and Technology, entitled "Competition ownership of bus and coach services", edited by David A Hensher. The special issue carries a selection of 24 papers and workshop reports presented at the international conference held in Thredbo, New South Wales, Australia, from 1st-4th May 1989. For the covering abstract of the conference see IRRD 837493. (Author/TRRL)

Language

  • English

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00623871
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1992 12:00AM