Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

QUATTRO - Quality Approach in Tendering/contracting Urban Public Transport Operations

The objectives of Quattro were :
- to identify current and emerging quality management practices in the contracting and tendering of urban public transport (UPT) provision with a particular emphasis on issues of quality definition and measurement, on the clarification of the contracting parties' responsibilities, as well as on evaluation procedures and their impact on continuous improvement programmes;
- to evaluate these practices and to figure out how they could be improved by looking at quality management trends and best practices in other fields than UPT;
- to propose a series of guidelines to authorities and operators involved or interested in tendering, contracting and performance monitoring in UPT, with a strong focus on quality.
The Quattro research covers the European Union, Norway, Poland, Hungary and Baltic Europe

Quattro recommends appropriate practice for quality tenders and quality contracts on the basis of a broad overview of existing practice in tendering, contracting, monitoring and more generally, managing public transport and its relationship to other sectors.
Quality in public transport is a field where there are daily new initiatives, at local, regional, national or European level. Authorities and operators are very active. The importance of these initiatives is an indicator of the level of relevance of the subject to the sector, serving daily 80% of European citizens, and occasionally the remaining 20%, and employing hundreds of thousands of people.
It is generally accepted that the public transport industry will enjoy better market conditions in Europe during the next decade, and into the next century.
We are convinced, on the basis of the existing situation in Europe described in our research, that the search for improved quality and continuous improvement must be a shared objectives by the authorities and operators involved in the systems.
The bodies should be driven by an obsession: to increase the value of public transport in Europe. This implies recognition at the users and the citizens as being in a central place in the system, give them the right to chose freely their travel mode and to organise their travel easily, without having to consider the geographic and functional frontiers between authorities or the different nature of operators.
By appropriate quality tenders and contracts, this "obsession" could be encouraged and positive results should follow. Local experience demonstrates the necessity to consider the quality issue in tenders and contracts, and the effectiveness of the measures recommended by Quattro.
Quattro indicates that whatever the regulatory regime for UPT, tools exist to stimulate authorities and operators to implement successfully the reach for quality in the public transport service provided to the users and the citizens.
Example and present practice show that the market respond positively to the realisation of the aims of the Citizens' Network, in particular in what concern the quality.
The challenge now is to put the travellers and the citizens in the heart of public transport organisation, and recognise through that central place that citizen satisfaction is the aim of the system.

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Policies - Safety - Transport
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