Guidelines for BRT Contracts

Author: Pedro M., Macário R. (2015)

Journal: 14th International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport Thredbo. Santiago, Chile, 31 August – 3 September, 2015

Keywords: Awarding, BRT, BHLS, Case Studies, Contracts, Public Service, Tendering, Transport System


Public transport is defined and structured in a wide variety of contractual practices. Numerous differences and similarities can be found, particularly the way authorities divide regulatory powers upon public transport, the way public transport funding is organised, the ownership and transport operators’ structure, the nature of the relationship between authorities and operators and the type of regulatory regime. These issues are translated into contracts, each one with its own environment and political concerns.

This paper contains an analysis of a set of public transport service contracts selected covering the most practices on Public Service Obligations across world. These include contracts set up under various institutional regimes, with various forms of risk allocation and many kinds of awarding procedures. Amongst the modes of transport concerned, are included conventional buses and trams and bus rapid transit services. Further, as it is part of a broader project undertaking the Centre Across Latitudes and Cultures, Bus Rapid Transit, concerning the complexity of contract design for Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT). This paper will provide a review and reflection process regarding public transport service contracts, providing, in particular, guidelines for BRT contractual arrangements in order to ensure successful contracts for a more efficient system.