Posted: 11 April 2019

TSS was engaged by Merseytravel and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to project manage the development and implementation of a Bus Alliance Partnership Contract Vehicle in conjunction with the client and the commercial bus operators, Arriva and Stagecoach.

Following the successful introduction of the Bus Alliance Contract, TSS’s commission was subsequently extended to include the project management of the delivery of the Bus Alliances Joint Business & Investment Plan for 2016/17 (Year 1) and for 2017/18 (Year 2).

In addition to the Bus Alliance, TSS’s extended commission included the provision of management support for the determination and development of other initiatives to deliver Merseytravel’s and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Bus Strategy. TSS’s role included the following associated functions to support the Bus Strategy:

  • Developing the contract documents and the procurement of multi-disciplinary team of consultants to undertake a Business Case and Options Appraisal for an Alternate Service Delivery Model for Bus, including consideration of Bus
  • Quality Partnerships and Franchising Arrangements etc.;
  • Providing the point of contact with the specialist consultants, as well as coordinating the input of Merseytravel’s bus team and other service areas in the development of the (five case) business case for the Strategic Outline Programme and Strategic Outline Case stages of the Business Case;
  • Identifying non-generic and additional bus-specific TUPE issues and other workforce considerations imposed by the newly introduced Bus Services Act;
  • Identifying VAT/tax considerations and other commercial risks and liabilities regarding the different service delivery options
  • Supported Bus – procurement / operational economies and efficiencies
  • Developing a dynamic procurement model and improved contract management arrangements for supported bus contracts (circa £20 million per annum).

TSS drew upon its expertise and experience in developing major service contracts and strategic partnering arrangements to develop the Bus Alliance arrangement. We determined that the Bus Alliance should comprise a voluntary partnership arrangement, including formally constituted governance arrangements, true partnership working and defined stakeholder input.

One of the core aims of this enhanced governance arrangement was to provide continuous measurable service improvements. To achieve this aim, TSS developed a joint Annual Business & Investment Planning Process that included a Performance Management Framework. The framework comprised key performance indicators (KPIs) and milestone targets, with a requirement to review the targets on an annual basis. The Performance Management Framework was designed to deliver the agreed three-year overarching outcome targets of passenger growth and passenger satisfaction.

The Bus Alliance Governance Arrangements developed by TSS include:

  • Joint Alliance Partnership Board – including Merseytravel and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and operators Arriva and Stagecoach
  • Key Stakeholder Board – with representation from stakeholders such as local and national politicians, Department of Transport, Transport Commissioner, Campaign for Better Transport, Transport Focus, Chambers of Commerce and Local Authority highway departments.
  • Joint Alliance Programme Board

The purpose of these groups is to advise the Alliance, to oversee the development of the Annual Business & Investment Plans and to receive progress reports from the six Service Streams, namely:

  • Network Design
  • Customer Development & Growth
  • Reliability and Punctuality of the Network
  • Customer Experience – On Bus
  • Customer Experience – Off Bus
  • Smart Ticketing

The Service Stream meetings were coordinated by TSS, with each stream having representation from Arriva, Merseytravel, and Stagecoach. A nominated lead officer for the Service Streams was drawn from each organisation, which enabled us to assign clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.

Significant improvements have already been secured by the Bus Alliance Partnership. This has provided assurance that the Alliance is an effective mechanism for further year-on-year service improvements to be made.

TSS is proud of its association with the Bus Alliance and for having worked collaboratively with Merseytravel/ Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, Ariva, Stagecoach and Addleshaw Godard (who provided the legal support) in helping to shape what is already recognised to be a highly successful partnership arrangement for securing measurable continuous service improvement.

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