Partnering with Transdev

Delivering Quality, Cost-Effective Management of Public Transportation

Transdev is committed to being the long-lasting partner of transit authorities, cities, counties, airports and universities, who want to improve mobility.

We help our clients design, manage and operate transportation in ways that measurably improve economic, safety and environmental performance. We offer clients advanced systems, processes and technology to deliver both quality service and efficiency in transit operations.

We customize the industry’s contractual models to fit the needs and circumstances of our clients. Most of the industry uses some form of an Operations and Maintenance Contract, as described below. In addition, Transdev has pioneered the Public Private Operating Partnership model in the U.S., borrowing from many decades of implementation in Europe.

Operations and Maintenance Partnership

This is the most common form of contracting in transit in the U.S. today. In this model, a transit agency contracts with Transdev to operate and manage its service operations while maintaining the transit agency’s fleet. Transdev also bears the insurance, labor and most legal risks. The transit agency continues to manage other key functional areas.

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Public-Private Operating Partnership

In a public-private operating partnership, a government or policy board delegates the management and operation of an entire transit organization to Transdev. This model is very common in Europe, and over the past five years, Transdev has pioneered this model in New Orleans and Nassau County, in Long Island, NY.

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Operations and Maintenance Partnerships

On-Street Operations and Vehicle Maintenance

An operating contract provides the on-street operation and vehicle maintenance for a transit organization, with assets and facilities provided by either Transdev or the public agency.

The key advantage of an operating contract is the delivery of an exceptional product within a contractually guaranteed cost structure. An operating contract provides a public agency the ultimate control over its operations with a contractual commitment of performance, defined risks assumed by the contractor, and a specified, guaranteed cost structure. And because of our size, we can offer economies of scale and efficiencies that make our service more affordable than most publicly operated services.

In reality, however, it is more than the contractual guarantee that makes a private operating contract attractive. We have been in this business for over 100 years and in that time we have developed the tools, systems, and methods proven to deliver quality services consistently and within budget.

Public-Private Operating Partnerships

Delegated Management and Operation

In this type of partnership, a transit system is fully managed and operated by Transdev and held contractually accountable to manage all aspects and functions of the transit agency, including overseeing and executing all aspects of operations, vehicle maintenance, procurement, marketing, passenger information and communication, planning, scheduling, ticketing, finance, grants management, IT, HR, legal, and all other normal agency functions.

The City, County or Board remains responsible for setting transit policies including budgets, fare structures, short and long range planning objectives, service standards, grant purchase authorizations and other policy related matters.

A PPOP ensures the delivery of the best transit system possible with a given amount of resources. The public sector defines the outcomes, and the private contractor is responsible for achieving them within a defined budget. That means the operator is continually innovating and reducing costs as a way to increase profit.

This arrangement des not impact the workforce’s right to organize‚in fact, approximately 80% of Transdev’s workforce is unionized. Transdev makes productive union relationships a top priority, because these relationships directly affect service quality and reliability.

A Comparison of Contracting Models

A well-designed relationship with a private operator can deliver high-quality transit at a price that cities can afford. Primary benefits of public-private relationships with Transdev include improvements in quality, reductions in operating costs, faster program implementation, focus on efficiency and minimizing overhead, performance accountability, and careful budget management.

How do different contract options compare?

Transit agencies vary in what they choose to contract depending on their circumstances and needs. Some contract out all of their transit bus service, and not their paratransit, while others do the opposite. Some contract out a portion of their bus service and operate the rest with their teams and oversight. Still other cities, counties and states are choosing to contract out all aspects of the management of the transit agency, known as a public-private operating partnership.

Transit agency’s responsibility
Transdev’s responsibility
Public Operations
Operations and Maintenance Partnership
Public-Private Operating Partnership
Budgetary policies
Service and fare policies
Capital plan
General management
Technical advisor
Finance and grants
Planning and scheduling
Fare collection
Risk management

Balanced Quality and Efficiency

Transdev delivers high quality bus and rail service at lower costs and higher quality levels that are comparable and sometimes better than publicly operated transit service.

Private service providers maintain fleets better

Fleet reliability in privately maintained fleets shows mechanical failures per 100,000 miles are only 6.8 for contracted services versus 13.3 for publicly maintained fleets.

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Private service providers operate more safely

Private fixed route bus operators average 0.4 accidents per 100,000 miles operated compared to 0.6 by public operators. That’s a third better.

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Both partners are incentivized to reduce operating costs, without compromising quality

The private partner is incentivized to reduce costs and improve efficiencies, which means the authority can afford more services, buses and routes. This in turn generates more riders, resulting in more ridership. The private partner is paid per service hour—it is highly motivated to find ways to increase service.

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