Best practice in procurement of commuter rail services

This paper examines evidence from international research into how governments can effectively procure commuter rail services for achieving their transport goals including growing patronage. The research initially surveyed 21 cities in Australia and overseas on their arrangements for procuring rail services and monitoring performance. The second stage focused on the effectiveness of purchaser-provider arrangements with a view to identifying best practice. This stage consisted of a literature review and in-depth interviews of transport authorities, rail operators and rail experts in Australia and Europe. The research identified successful practices in articulating transport goals into transport policies and strategies, governance and procurement arrangements, and noted trends toward: 1. formal arm’s length ‘contracts’ for both publicly and privately delivered transport services; 2. integrated transport and single transport authorities; 3. clear accountability for strategic, tactical and operational roles between purchasers and providers, and collaborative relationships between the two. While there is no template for an ‘ideal contract’, the research established key elements and principles in developing and implementing effective contracts and performance measurement. In addition to a contract, the research identified other effective ways of increasing public transport use. (a) For the covering record of the conference, please refer to ITRD abstract no. E218380.


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: 14P (SESSION TUES 1A)
  • Monograph Title: ATRF 2009: 32nd Australasian Transport Research Forum: the growth engine: interconnecting transport performance, the economy and the environment: 29 September-1 October 2009, Auckland, New Zealand

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153036
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Mar 23 2010 9:12AM