Goal achievement with trusting partnerships at the tactical level


John K. Stanley

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - australasia, organisation - contracting, organisation - competition, organisation - performance, organisation - governance


Competitive tendering; Negotiated contracts; Patronage growth; Trusting partnership


Recent Thredbo Conferences have begun to explore the importance of the relationship between public transport service purchaser and provider in the development of successful public transport services. However, practical examples to test the trusting partnership model are rare. Bus service planning and delivery in Melbourne, Australia, has pioneered the trusting partnership approach, from agreement about desirable service standards and requisite operator qualifications (at the Tactical level) to detailed service delivery contracts. New negotiated performance-based metropolitan bus contracts commenced in January 2009, embodying principles discussed in previous Thredbo Conferences. This paper reports on the Tactical planning process that agreed service standards and the subsequent contract negotiation process, reflecting a trusting partnership between purchaser and provider, while remaining transparent and accountable and maintaining performance pressure on the provider. It shows how patronage growth rates have increased dramatically and identifies areas where further enhancements should be explored in the contracting area.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


Research in Transportation Economics Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/07398859