Pilot program launches to improve transit bus procurement
In the spring of 2020, VEIC was selected by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help deliver a pilot program that will improve the way transit agencies acquire new vehicles.
The Pilot Program for Nonprofit Cooperative Procurements has launched with the objective of increasing innovation, promoting efficiency, and demonstrating the effectiveness of cooperative procurement contracts for transit vehicles administered by nonprofit entities. VEIC will be working with transit agencies in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and upper Midwest through this program.
Transit agencies have reported challenges finding competitive pricing for individual-agency vehicle procurements in compliance with FTA requirements. They have also noted that acquiring new vehicles can require considerable staff resources, expertise, and lead-time. These challenges are often greater for small and rural agencies with more limited staff capacity, and for agencies who are considering adding alternative-fueled vehicles to their fleet, such as battery-electric, hybrid-electric or natural gas.
VEIC is kicking off this effort by conducting market research and outreach to stakeholders to help identify barriers and opportunities that exist in current procurement processes, especially for small and rural transportation agencies. With the input of key stakeholders, VEIC will then be able to assess the most promising areas for innovation and efficiency within the current process. Following the research and outreach phase of the program, improvements will be put into practice through a pilot cooperative procurement for interested transit agencies covering conventionally and alternative-fueled transit vehicles.
VEIC has significant experience supporting small and rural transit agencies in planning, procuring and deploying electric transit buses and charging infrastructure. This expertise will be particularly helpful to transit agencies interested in alternative fuels as part of the pilot.
“This is a valuable opportunity to test potential improvements to the experience for transit agencies across the country,” said Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Director of Clean Transportation at VEIC. “We are excited to engage with stakeholders and support this effort by the FTA.”
This initiative resulted from a requirement under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. To date, VEIC is the sole nonprofit organization under agreement with the FTA to carry out the provisions contained in the FAST Act. This announcement was made in the Federal Register on May 11, 2020.
For more information on this pilot program please contact Jennifer Wallace-Brodeur, Director of Clean Transportation, by email at [email protected].