Purpose – The process of choosing the best part in the public procurement of bus transports is easier if the demands of the qualifications are well specified and detailed. On the other hand, detailed contracts will lead to limitations and could force the entrepreneurs to use uneconomical, but most of all, less environmentally friendly alternatives. The effects of using less specified contracts in order to achieve more environmentally friendly bus traffic have been tested and evaluated by optimization models. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Design/methodology/approach – A mathematical model with binary variables is developed to evaluate the environmental effects of more optimized bus sizes. Computational results from a bus service provider are reported. Different scenarios have been tested in order to evaluate the environmental effects of less detailed contracts.
Findings – The results of the mathematical model indicate that all parts involved in the public procurement process, the public authority, the entrepreneur and the customers, will gain from more flexible and less detailed contracts.
Research limitations/implications – The bus system in this study is limited to data from one region in Sweden. However, a pre-study indicates that this region is representative with regard to public procurement of bus transports in Sweden as well as in major parts of Europe.
Originality/value – In terms of the total environmental impact from the public transport system, the paper focuses on the importance of creating relevant and less detailed contracts in public procurement. A mathematical model and data from a Swedish bus service provider have been used.
2010. Vol. 21, no 5, 645-658 p.