Example: The Centrale d’Achat du Transport Public (public transport procurement centre) in France

When the option to use a central procurement office is available and retained, it is important to choose a central procurement office suited to your needs. Indeed, between a non-specialised centre and a centre specialised in public transport, between a non-profit and a profit-based centre, between a local or international centre, etc., the procurement process will not be the same.

For example, in France, the Union des Groupements d’Achats Publics (union of public procurement groupings) is a central procurement office for which public transport represents only a small part of its activity. Consequently, public transport procurement has remained at buyer level for a long time.

The Centrale d’Achat du Transport Public (public transport procurement centre) has changed things considerably. This non-profit (governed by the French association law 1901), which was created in 2011 by local elected officials and technicians from local authorities to optimise public transport procurement, is supported by the associations of local authorities and the Maires des Grandes de Villes de France (association of the mayors of the major cities of France) and the Groupement des Autorités Responsables de Transport (group of Public Transport Authorities) in particular. It is open to all local authorities and local public companies. Although a significant proportion of its work concerns buses and coaches, the CATP offers a complete catalogue of services: software, mobile applications, ticketing solutions, washing devices, etc. As a result, the CATP has progressively established itself as a key player in terms of public transport procurement. With 230 members, the CATP is used by local authorities of all sizes, including 9 of the 10 largest French cities (including Île-de-France Mobilités) which have witnessed the resulting improvement in the efficiency of their purchases.