Supported bus services tender review


10th May 2021

Bids to run six socially necessary but commercially uneconomic city bus services are to be considered by councillors today.

The services could be subsidised by Dundee City Council for an initial two years, at a net cost of around £240,000 a year, after anticipated fare income is taken into account.

Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council's city development committee said: "At the end of last year we looked at the way the city's bus network is supported, particularly the gaps in the commercial system that might need to be filled and the routes that have historically been supported.

“This tender report not only takes account of the overall situation in the bus industry, but also the significant financial pressures being faced by the council and the added uncertainty on future passenger demand caused by the pandemic.

"People in our communities need to be reassured that where there is a social need but it is not economic for the bus companies to provide them, the council will take whatever steps it can to support the provision of bus services."

According to the report, which will be considered by the city development committee today (MAY 10), tender submissions were evaluated on an 80% price and 20% quality basis. Quality criteria included the age of the bus fleet, offer of community benefits and ability to provide cover in the event of breakdowns or accidents.

It recommends that the tender to run the outer circle all day on Sunday and on Monday to Saturday evenings is awarded to Xplore Dundee; Monday to Saturday services between Kirkton, Downfield, Lawside and City Centre and Mill O Mains, Stobswell and City Centre are awarded to Moffat and Williamson and Stagecoach East Scotland the Monday to Saturday services between Dryburgh, Lochee, West End and City Centre and the Broughty Ferry circular.

Before the new contracts go live in August detailed routes will be discussed with the successful tenderers.

Passenger numbers will determine the exact amount of overall subsidy needed.

According to figures collected before the pandemic more than 200,000 journeys were made on services supported by the council with an average subsidy per passenger trip of £1.10.


Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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