We hit a milestone a couple of weeks ago that’s worth noting. With no shovels hitting the ground, funding announced or ribbon cut, this particular announcement may have flown a little under the radar. But the fact that, to date, our Transit Procurement Initiative (we call it TPI) has facilitated the purchase of over 1,000 transit buses for municipalities across Ontario, helps illustrate the central role of Metrolinx in improving access to public transit and providing value to Ontario taxpayers.
Behind the scenes, our TPI team coordinates the purchasing of transit-related things like buses, parts and IT systems, ensures quality control at the point of manufacturing and delivery, and advises on bus industry practices – on behalf of any interested transit agency in Ontario.
TPI works as a liaison between vendors and Ontario small-, medium-, and (sometimes) large-sized transit agencies. At the heart of this is the cost savings associated with bulk buying big-ticket items, like buses. Think of it as going to Costco with several friends and getting 30 jars of pickles when you personally only need a few; with resources pooled, everyone can benefit from the economies of scale. TPI centralizes the procurement approach, and transit agencies get just what they need – but for a reduced price compared to going it alone.
Beyond the discount, these public agencies are also spared from using their limited resources on overseeing often difficult and lengthy procurement contracts. And, the program eliminates duplication of work by several agencies, which happen to be in the market for the same items. We’re talking one centralized procurement function on behalf of many public organizations, saving taxpayers an estimated $16 million so far.
With the help of TPI, the participating agencies can rely on Metrolinx to look out for their best interests; and ultimately, focus on what they do best – getting their riders to where they’re going safely.
Here’s to 1,000 more!