Chile: Government Introduces New Guidelines for the new Transantiago Tender
The Chilean Transport Minister, Ms. Gloria Hutt, unveiled the guidelines for the new Transantiago tender for the capital city bus system, which should be launched within the first six months of 2019.
The new proposal by the Government includes the assignment of transport services to a higher number of operators (up to 18) compared to the current system. This is to ensure greater competition, even though the new system is smaller in size. In the future, each operator will manage no more than 300 buses, 700 less than the current average fleet size. It will have an integrated network of multiple “micro” systems, with a greater focus on local needs and flexibility in the definition of different routes.
Another significant change, compared to the current situation, is the possibility of resorting to bus suppliers. This means that private operators will not have to necessarily own buses to take part in the tender, but will only need to prove they have experience in managing transport services, relying on leasing contracts to have the required number of buses available.
Also, the management of the bus terminal will be carved out of the bus system and reassigned to public entities. This is to eliminate potential entry barriers to new operators, who will be able to use shared terminals with others. Transantiago also provides for incentives aimed at modernizing the fleet with state-of-the-art services. Incentives will focus mostly on cutting emissions, with Euro 4 and electric or hybrid buses, as well as sound pollution. The duration of the contract will also change: from the current 10 year to a 5+5 arrangement, in which the contract is rescinded after the first five years in case of non-compliance by the operator.
Once tendering has started, the contract will be awarded based on a weighting system. The final score will be 70% to the economic offer and 30% to the technical offer (in the past, percentages were 95% and 5% respectively). This is to encourage participating Companies to consider the environmental impact, the fight against evasion and the development of a more consumer-centered network.