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Transit Procurement Initiative

Cover of the TPI Brochure

Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) has become one of North America’s most innovative transit procurement facilitators. TPI currently has 30 registered member transit agencies from across Ontario and has worked with them at various times since the program began in 2006 to build over 820 transit buses across five vehicle types including: 18-metre; 12-metre; 9-metre, and 8-metre low floor and high floor buses. This consolidation of municipal transit procurement has saved Ontario taxpayers an estimated $11.9 million in purchasing and administrative costs.

The desire expressed by many transit agencies to jointly procure bus parts led to the creation of our award winning Transit Inventory Management Services (TIMS) initiative. TIMS was the first multi-agency initiative involving the consolidation of parts procurement through a single supplier in North America. Metrolinx has leveraged our unique position to create one of the largest and most innovative joint transit procurement programs in North America, one driven entirely by voluntary participation. The success of this program has helped redefine how municipal authorities leverage transit financial purchases, from the actual buses to their service and repair (with future joint initiatives under consideration for electric cooling system conversions and Computer Aided Dispatch – Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD-AVL) systems ). TPI supports Metrolinx’s mandate to act as the central procurement agency for local transit systems across Ontario (Metrolinx Act, 2006, s. 5(1)(b)).

Our collective expertise builds your fleet strength

Since the inception of the program with Ministry of Transportation of Ontario in 2006, through the transfer of the program to Metrolinx in 2008 to the present day, , TPI helps small, medium and large transit systems across the province save money. From the original six participating municipalities, the program has expanded to include twenty-nine transit operators. Synergies are created by combining the experience and knowledge of bus fleet managers with vehicle specification, procurement and operational experts, to create a performance-based design to maximize operational efficiency, increase purchasing power and lower capital and operational costs.

Added value

Bottom line savings, though a major objective, are only one part of what TPI provides. The program also includes:

  • Enhanced quality control through in-plant inspection of buses
  • Fairness Commissioner services to oversee the procurement process
  • Independent Project Officer to develop technical specifications and administer the contract
  • Evaluation committee made up of transit participants


Metrolinx TPI program has been the recipient of numerous awards in the fields of supply chain and innovation.

  • The Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Canada President Award for the Transit Inventory Management Service (TIMS) of the Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) (2012)
  • The Purchasing Management Association of Canada Award for Supply Chain Excellence for TIMS of TPI (2012)
  • The Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Peter J. Marshall Innovation Award for TIMS provided to all participants of the program (2012)


TPI coordinates the development of a performance-based design which allows for bulk purchasing of various bus sizes and parts while allowing transit systems to customize specifications for their needs.

Testimonials from current partners

"Why wouldn’t every small/medium transit property participate? It gives me purchasing power, consistent pricing, predictable delivery, specification expertise and access to technical and administrative resources."
- Gerry Decou, Fleet Manager, City of North Bay


"Truly a pristine process from start to finish. A process that exemplifies transparency, purchasing policy compliance, which is viewed as fair and equitable for all participants. A process that promotes knowledge based participants to share experiences and best practices with the end result being savings in budget dollars and staff time and resources, a win win for all participating municipalities."
- Doug Murray, Fleet Manager, Hamilton Street Railway (HSR)


"Transit Windsor looks forward to receiving delivery of our new buses and could not be happier with the joint procurement process that Metrolinx provides. By conducting these joint bus procurements, Metrolinx has helped Transit Windsor save money, eliminate duplicated efforts and acquire buses that meet the most current technical specifications."
- Tony Houad, Director of Corporate Services for Transit Windsor


"Thank goodness for TPI! Small but growing municipalities like Milton always have difficulty procuring new, big ticket equipment in a cost-effective manner. TPI provides us an opportunity to share technical knowledge and purchasing power with other municipalities to ensure end product quality and support within a transparent procurement process.“
- Tony D'Alessandro, Coordinator, Transit, Engineering Services Department, Town of Milton