Competitive tendering in The Netherlands: Central planning vs. functional specifications

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning


Tenders, Service design, Planning, Netherlands, Innovation, Contracting


The competitive tendering regime introduced in The Netherlands in 2001 aims at stimulating innovation in service design. One can observe, in the meantime, a variety of arrangements as transport authorities vary considerably in the level of service design freedom they give to operators, both in tendering and within contracts. This paper presents facts and problems encountered and uses the results of a stakeholder evaluation of current practices to formulate perspectives for further improvements of the, by and large, current positive results of competitive tendering in public transport.


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