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Workshop Paper / Transport

2nd European Urban Transport Regulation Summary: Tendering Urban Public Transport

Author(s): FINGER Matthias, HOLTERMAN Martin, BRAND-WEINER Ian

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The present document summarises the content of the presentations delivered during the 2nd European Urban Transport Regulation Forum as well as the ensuing discussion. This report is divided in two sections: summaries of the presentations and the synthesis of the debates. The 2nd EUrbanTRF focused on "Tendering Urban Public Transport: Past Experiences, Future Challenges".

Presentations were delivered by representatives of many different types of stakeholders, including transport authorities, operators, associations of stakeholders, other relevant actors, as well as by knowledgeable academics. Each of them offered his/her view on the state, challenges and future of tendering urban public transport, based on the following initial questions formulated by the organisers:

  • What can we learn from the past experiences of tendering of urban public services? What has worked? What has not? And why? 
  • How does EC regulation 1370 affect the tendering procedures? 
  • What other challenges have emerged over the past 20 years that need to be taken into account when tendering urban public services? 
  • How is tendering of urban public services likely to evolve in the years to come? 
  • What can we learn from other sectors about the tendering of urban public services?

Tendering urban public transport has a rather short history and the exact tendering processes differ from country to country. The recent developments were necessarily steered by Regulation 1370/2007. However, as Regulation 1370/2007 leaves room for interpretations, there are no signs of a harmonised system, despite this legislation. The room for interpretation was reflected in the speakers’ presentations: all favoured the tendering of urban public transport, but assessed the state differently.

The presentations and discussions touched a wide range of aspects: past experiences, evolution of tendering, difficulties in establishing an appropriate process, differences among European countries, role of operators and transport authorities, and visions for the future of urban mobility. A reoccurring topic was the need for an intermodal system and the move towards integrated mobility services. This opinion was shared by all participants. However, Regulation 1370/2007 does not seem to be the right tool to achieve this goal.