Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies

The need for collaboration between authorities and operators in determining the terms and conditions of public transport contracting

Professor Jackie Walters, University of Johannesburg

4th Apr 2018  02:00 pm - 03:00 pm Seminar Room 3200, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Abstract: The costs of public transport contracts are continuously being scrutinised in the light of tight economic circumstances. In designing public transport contracts it is important that an appropriate risk-share dispensation be considered to ensure that the relevant entity (the authority and/or operator) carries the risk that it is best suited to manage. Inappropriate risk-sharing arrangements can result in additional costs being factored into contract bids by operators thus increasing the overall cost of public transport for the authority. In addition, the design of the contract e.g. net cost versus gross cost (and associated risk apportionment) could have a bearing on the ultimate cost of the contract.

This paper explores the views of 15 contracted bus operators representing 4950 buses in South Africa about their views on contract risks,  based on their experiences of such contracts over many years of public transport contracting. The lessons learned from this research will assist contracting authorities in understanding how operators respond and view risks associated with various controllable and uncontrollable matters related to public transport contracting.

Bio: Prof Walters holds a Doctoral degree in Transport Economics from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), now the University of Johannesburg (UJ). His academic speciality includes public transport and aviation policy studies, as well as transport economics and logistics.

He joined the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in 1982 where he lectured under- and post-graduate students in Transport Economics. He is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management. In this position he is also extensively involved in the department’s industry training programmes for the freight and passenger transport sectors. More than 60 000 people have been trained on these programmes to date. Currently the department has more than 5400 students studying towards various qualifications in transportation and logistics.

In addition to being the chair of the department, he is also the Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS)(Africa), a research unit working in close collaboration with the University of Sydney. This unit focuses on a range of research topics in collaboration with departmental researchers and industry partners as well as post graduate research-based studies, publication of the Journal of Transport and Supply chain management, information dissemination and specialist industry training programmes.

He has been involved in numerous research projects on a multi modal basis and is author and co- author of a number of papers and publications.

Recent research work focuses on the impact of policies on the development of the commuter bus industry, the public transport tendering system as well as general overviews of developments in public transport and the aviation industry in South Africa.

He also serves on a number of committees appointed by the South African Department of Transport and has been a member of the steering committee for the recently completed Gauteng Master Plan. He has also been a specialist adviser to the Southern African Bus Operators Association since 1989.

He has travelled extensively and studied public transport systems and policies throughout the world.