The new London Routemaster bus cost £213m for the first 600 © Transport for London
The new London Routemaster bus cost £213m for the first 600 © Transport for London

How to buy public transport systems

Researchers are hoping to improve the way public transport systems are purchased by local authorities.

Northamptonshire County Council and the University of Northampton have secured a share of €1m EU funding and will now be collaborating on a two-year project to help shape policy for local authorities wanting to purchase transport systems.

The research will involve encouraging European local authorities to share how they procure innovative sustainable transport.

The university said that many authorities were using out-of-date methods to choose and buy transport systems. This means they are purchasing systems that are not best suited to their urban areas, the local population, the environment or the public purse.

Liam Fassam, senior lecturer in supply chain management at the university’s Faculty of Business and Law, said: “The ever-increasing demand for sustainable and innovative transportation solution in order to reach the cities service goals, dictates the need for more advance methods of procurement to address key parameters such as innovation, scalability and interoperability of public transport.

Fassam said that one of the key challenges faced by local authorities was the “one view” of holistically connecting elements of procurement that factor in both business and public sector.

“The collaborative research review will attempt to address this by sharing this as a best practice that can lead to greater benefits in terms of cost and social benefit for all parties.” 

The university is already involved in research to produce a Europe-wide cloud-based system to coordinate supply chains and logistics.

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