The rising number of passengers and growing customer expectations are driving public transport operators to demand more reliability when procuring new assets. This is especially true when it comes to rolling stock, which is now expected to be more durable and reliable.
As these challenges become more common, a growing trend has emerged where public transport operators are turning to original equipment manufacturers (or OEMs) for maintenance of their rolling stock.
Mutually beneficial arrangements
Generally with new equipment under warranty, service operators handle most maintenance tasks. In many cases, OEMs only handle warranty-related repairs. But many operators today are choosing other parties, like OEMs, to also take care of non-warranty maintenance, in order to focus more resources on their core business of running a public transport service.
Far from there being a perfect for all scenarios, there have emerged several examples of mutually beneficial arrangements between operators and OEMs. Generally, OEMs handling partial or full maintenance activities over a longer period of time have the chance to learn, first-hand, more about their product’s behaviour during the entire lifecycle. This allows them to develop better equipment to deal with real-world demands.
Operators, on the other hand, could benefit from different service contracts, which increase the predictability of maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Operators could also profit from the higher quality and reliability of newer (industrial) maintenance organisation and new technology when trusting OEMs to provide lifetime obsolescence management for their rolling stock.
To stimulate the discussion further, UITP has complied several case studies of public transport operators and OEMs that have entered in cooperative agreements in maintaining rolling stock. UITP members can download the full knowledge brief (From vehicle manufacturers to service partners) and case studies on MOBI+.