Environment, Transport & Sustainability Committee

Agenda Item 54      



Subject:                    Real Time Passenger Information System


Date of meeting:    15th November 2022


Report of:                 Executive Director Economy, Environment & Culture


Contact Officer:      Name: Sean Power                        Tel: 01273 290544

                                    Email: Sean.power@brighton-hove.gov.uk


Ward(s) affected:   All



1.            Purpose of the report and policy context


1.1         The Real Time Passenger Information (RTPI) System Contract is used to maintain and improve public transport information signs at bus stops and public places within the City.


1.2         The Local Transport Plan (LTP) sets out the Council’s policy for encouraging greater use of public transport to travel around the city. RTPI has been demonstrated nationally as being key in increasing passenger numbers and providing a real alternative to the car. Increasing bus patronage also helps the council in meeting its aspirations to be carbon neutral by 2030 and is an integral part of the existing Quality Bus Partnership and its proposed Enhanced Partnership.


1.3         The assets consist of 193 real time information signs and a back-office system that takes the information from the bus companies and predicts arrival times at bus stops using the on-street signs and also via the internet and text.


1.4         The existing contract will end in October 2023 and cannot be extended any further therefore a new one needs to be procured to keep the signs and system in operation.


2.            Recommendations


2.1         That Committee authorise the procurement of a new Real Time Passenger Information System contract for maintaining and improving the RTPI system should be developed, tendered, and awarded as follows: -


1.         The contract will be let for a 5-year period with a possible extension of 2 years taking the possible total contract period to 7 years.  [AR1] 


2.         The contract will consist of 2 lots.

                 •      Lot 1: Back-office supply and maintenance

                 •      Lot 2: New and replacement Signs


3.            Context and background information


3.1         The current contract expires in October 2023 and has run for the full period allowed within the contract.  The existing contract has been successful. The conditions of contract were NEC3 utilising a range of main options.


3.2         The report was supported and agreed by the Procurement Advisory Board meeting held on 5th Sept 2022


3.3         It is intended that the tender will be issued in March 2023 and assessed in May 2023.  The new contract award and its mobilisation will be immediately prior to the end of the existing contract running in tandem with the existing system.  The new contract will allow a more flexible approach to providing real time information within the City.


3.4         To ensure that the preferred contractors meet the needs of the Council the contract bids will be assessed on the basis of 60% quality and 40% price.


4.            Analysis and consideration of alternative options


4.1         The consultants advising the Authority independently assessed a range of delivery options for providing the contract[MP2] .


4.2         Providing the service in-house would require significant investment in specialist equipment and would require the Council to absorb significant costs associated with the risk of a varying workload.  The private sector is able to balance this with other works they undertake and utilise their supply chain to meet service demands.  There are a number of suppliers in the market that have software and hardware solutions already available.


4.3         An in-house contract would present real challenges in how the service deals with workloads and budget fluctuations. The Council has been consistent in spend on real time provision; however, the current infrastructure is ageing, and replacement parts are becoming obsolete

4.4         Any RTPI system has to be able to allow all bus operators to display their bus real time information. While the B&H bus company has the majority of services within B&H there are a number of other operators including Stagecoach, Compass and Big Lemon who also need to be included in the information provided at bus stops. This is the case in every local authority outside of London.


5.            Community engagement and consultation[MP3] 


5.1         Not applicable as this contract is to replace maintenance of the existing signs and operating system. Although new signs and possibly new types of signs would be procured using this contract funding for those signs and decisions on their type and location will come from elsewhere.


6.            Conclusion


6.1         The existing real time passenger information system has been a success for the City but has reached its end of life and now needs to be replaced. Since the original system was procured real time sign technology has developed


and improvements to the existing signs and systems are available with a new contract


7.            Financial implications


7.1         There are no direct financial implications arising from the recommendations of this report. The contract would contain both capital and revenue elements. The current years revenue budget for the RTPI supply contract is £0.234m. For new capital schemes including the installation of new RTPI, any successful bids would be funded through the Council’s Local Transport Plan Capital Programme. Costs of any new contract would need to be contained within existing budgets. Any significant variations to budget will be reported as part of the council’s monthly budget monitoring process.


7.2         The estimated replacement cost of the system and obsolete signs is in the region of £1.1 million over two years although the actual cost will not be known until the tenders are received and the eventual cost could be lower.


Name of finance officer consulted: John Lack    Date consulted: 28/10/22


8.            Legal implications


8.1         The Council is required to procure contracts in accordance with its Contract Standing Orders and the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.


Name of lawyer consulted: Alice Rowlands  Date consulted (02/11/2022):



9.            Equalities implications


9.1         Any contractors will be obliged to meet the Council’s policies on equality and inclusion. This will also form part of the evaluation criteria giving particular reference to the readability of the signs. This will be determined through the signs ability to design contrast, font size and image depth to address access for the visually impaired and those with neurodiverse conditions.

9.2         The back-office system will be required to meet the public sector IT accessibility regulations (WCAG2.1 AA standard) to ensure wide ranging accessibility.


10.         Sustainability implications



10.1      The new contract will offer the opportunity for innovative approaches to be taken that support the Council’s ambitions to become carbon neutral by 2030. This includes a review of the current assets and a move towards more energy efficient infrastructure


10.2      The Real Time Passenger Information System assists in reaching the target of increasing the use of public transport as set out in the Local Transport Plan and assists in reducing the carbon emissions associated with travel in the City


10.3      Appointed contractors will be expected to work in partnership with the Council in terms of programming works, achieving carbon neutrality and


improving the economic, environmental and social wellbeing of the city


10.4      The contract will be weighted 60% quality to 40% price.  The quality will include specific questions on both social value and sustainability.  The contract will focus on where the service can deliver on a reduction of its carbon footprint.  A key element will be the ability to drive innovation through the contract per will be weighted 60% quality to 40% price.  The quality will include specific questions on both social value and sustainability.  The contract will focus on where the service can deliver on a reduction of its carbon footprint.  A key element will be the ability to drive innovation


11.         Other Implications


Social Value and procurement implications


11.1      Brighton & Hove City Council uses the following definition of social value:


"Social Value is about securing maximum impact on local priorities from all public investment. The city will maximise social value by focusing particularly on strengthening communities through collaborative working across the public, private and community and voluntary sectors."


The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 applies to contracts for services and this procurement relates substantively to works and therefore the provisions of this Act do not apply.   However, it is proposed to incorporate social value elements into the evaluation criteria in line with the Council’s Social Value Policy


Crime & disorder implications:


11.2      None


Public health implications:


11.3      None



 [AR1]4 years is the maximum duration of a framework agreement unless there are exceptional circumstances.

 [MP2]WE also need a new paragraph about this has been supported and agreed by the Procurement Advisory Board on Date xxxx

 [MP3]You could include the PAB consultation and their conclusions here. It also need to go into the Report Purpose and Background Sections.