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Transit Procurement Initiative

Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) has become one of North America’s most innovative transit procurement programs. TPI has worked with 42 transit agencies across Ontario at various times since the program began in 2006. TPI’s joint procurements for buses have involved 32 transit agency partners across the province purchasing 6 vehicle types including: 18-metre; 12-metre; 9-metre; 8-metre low floor; 8-metre high floor and mini bus. In addition to bus procurements TPI has completed joint procurements for bus parts (TIMS) in 2011 and an Intelligent Transportation System – Automated Vehicle Location Solution (ITS-AVL) in 2016. This consolidation of municipal transit procurement has saved Ontario taxpayers an estimated $21.5 million in purchasing and administrative costs (as of March 31, 2017).

1317 buses ordered as of March 31, 2017 across 6 vehicle models

Accumulated savings and cost avoidance across all TPI projects for participating transit agencies has reached $21.5 million

Metrolinx has leveraged this 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. 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 the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario in 2006, through the transfer of the program to Metrolinx in 2008, TPI has helped small, medium and large transit systems across the province save money. From the original six participating municipalities, the program has expanded to include 42 transit operators. Synergies are created by combining the experience and knowledge of bus fleet managers with vehicle specification, procurement and operational experts, creating a performance-based specification to maximize operational efficiency, increase purchasing power, and decreasing capital and operational costs.

Added value

Although bottom line savings are a major objective, TPI provides a number of value-added services such as:

  • Enhanced quality control through in-plant inspection of buses
  • Fairness Commissioner services to oversee the procurement process
  • Industry experienced TPI staff to develop detailed technical specifications, develop the RFP and manage the contract
  • Evaluation Committee made up of transit participants


Metrolinx's 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
  • The Purchasing Management Association of Canada Award for Supply Chain Excellence for TIMS
  • The Association of Municipalities of Ontario’s Peter J. Marshall Innovation Award for TIMS provided to all participants of the program


TPI coordinates the development of a performance-based specification which allows for bulk purchasing of various bus sizes, propulsion systems, parts and fleet related technology (ITS-AVL and video camera surveillance), allowing transit systems to customize specifications for their needs.

Testimonials from current partners

"Kingston Transit placed its first bus order through a TPI joint procurement contract five years ago and we expect to remain a TPI Partner for years to come. By bringing multiple transit agencies together, TPI is able to positively influence manufacturer responsiveness to our needs and preferences."
- Robert (Bud) Steele, Manager of Fleet, Kingston Transit

"As a small transit agency that has recently joined the TPI joint procurement partnership, Quinte West has gained access to the technical expertise and purchasing power that develops when multiple transit agencies work together."
- Nadyne Mattis, Director of Operations, Quinte Access Transportation

"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, Transit Maintenance Supervisor, Burlington Transit

"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, Senior Manager, Fleet & Support Services, 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, Town of Milton