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THE VIEW IBEC: ITS and Evaluation Dr Risto Kulmala

Do we need a transport system planning revolution?

Dr. Risto Kulmala is Principal Advisor on ITS at the Finnish Transport Agency

administrations have honed their purchasing practices to maximum efficiency. Te purchaser-provider model is in wide use. Procurement is based on tendering of well-specified projects and involves separately or in combination the different phases of planning, construction, deployment as well as operation and maintenance. Te “providers” can show their innovativeness in how efficiently they are carrying out the project. Due to the process and its reliance on the administrations to specify what is being purchased, conventional infrastructure provision and maintenance projects dominate the scene.


HOW SHOULD IT LOOK LIKE? Te purchaser-provider model is effective and would still be used. Te procurement target, however, is different. We are procuring for solutions to well-defined problems in transport system performance or in the level of service provided to journeys and goods transport. Te problems and the performance targets are well-defined, but the potential providers are given the task to identify the best solutions to eliminate the problems and reach the targets. Te purchasing bodies can compare the life-span costs of the solutions offered with their likely effects on performance problems, and select the best ones. Tis will result in innovations in both solutions and project effectiveness, and that all possible tools and solutions, including


oday’s transport system planning and development seem efficient. National, regional and local

ITS, are considered to improve transport system performance. Here are some examples of how

such procurement could look like. Case 1: Need to solve increasing

congestion problems in a city centre making commuting and harbour- related freight transport more difficult. Te tendering documents could look for “Solutions to ensure that peak hour journey times of 99 per cent of all journeys and 99.9 per cent of all transport to/from harbour are at most 10 per cent longer than the average journey times outside the peak hours on working days in 2012. Te provider selected will be the one guaranteeing the journey time objective with lowest costs from 2015 to 2024. Some 50 per cent of the contract sum will be awarded at the start of the services included in the solution, and the rest according to the measured journey time performance”. Case 2: Narrow and curved national

road has a fatal and severe injury accident rate twice as high as on average for such roads. Te tendering documents could look for “Measures to reduce the fatal and severe injury accident rate permanently. Te provider selected will be the one guaranteeing the best expected safety record for the road in 2015-2025 within the budget available (€10m + annually max €1m). Te annual payments will depend on the safety benefits evident from the completed years of the contract.” Case 3: Public transport mode share

has continuously decreased in the metropolitan area, and is currently below 40 per cent in commuting. Tis has resulted in increasing car use and

congestion. Te tendering documents could look for “Measures to maintain the share of public transport over 25 per cent in all journeys within metropolitan area and over 40 per cent in commuting in 2012-2025 so that car journeys will be reduced correspondingly also in numbers. Te provider selected is the one whose solutions shiſt more journeys from cars to public transport in relation to the costs incurred while fulfilling the overall mode share targets of the tender”.

In practice strategic performance targets have to be specified for journeys and transport

WHAT DO WE NEED? We need a new way of thinking. We should aim for optimal transport system performance or level of service from the point of view of journeys and goods transport. In practice, strategic performance targets have to be specified for journeys and transport, and we need reliable tools to measure level of service. Transport system and network

operators must adapt their processes to acquiring solutions rather than specifying them. We need transport system performance and level of service expertise in both purchaser and provider side. Te purchasers have to have robust performance evaluation procedures in place.

WHAT DO WE GAIN? Te main outcome of the new way of doing this is better productivity in the transport sector, which is so crucial in the current situation of dwindling public spending. Innovative solutions will be utilized quicker and more comprehensively than today. Te development will also lead to quicker innovation cycles and more innovations in the transport sector. Tis also means that ITS solutions will likely be much more widely utilized than today.

Vol 8 No 3 North America

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