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Transit Procurement Initiative

2021-2022 TPI New Years Newsletter

Metrolinx’s Transit Procurement Initiative (TPI) has become one of North America’s most innovative transit procurement programs. TPI’s bus joint procurement purchases reach across 30 regions of Ontario. TPI has worked with 53 transit agencies across Ontario at various times since the program began in 2006. TPI’s joint procurements for buses have involved 43 transit agency partners across the province purchasing 6 vehicle types including: 18-metre; 12-metre; 9-metre; 8-metre (low & high floor); 7-metre (low & high floor); and mini bus. In addition to bus procurements TPI has completed joint procurements for bus parts (TIMS) in 2011, an Intelligent Transportation System – Automated Vehicle Location Solution (ITS-AVL) in 2016, and a video camera surveillance system in 2017. This consolidation of municipal transit procurement has saved Ontario taxpayers an estimated $35.8 million* in purchasing and administrative costs (* as of March 31, 2021).

2,199 buses ordered as of March 31, 2021 across 6 vehicle models

Accumulated savings and cost avoidance across all TPI projects for participating transit agencies has reached $35.8 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)).

TPI marks 2000th Bus delivery

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 53 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:

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


In December 2017 the TPI Team was awarded one of Metrolinx’s most coveted internal awards – the Metrolinx Linx Award in the Service Excellence Team Category.

Metrolinx's TPI program has also 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

“Great work in identifying and managing the bid submission differences." (June 2018)
- Anonymous OBVSS Client Survey

“Everyone at TPI is great to deal with and give us great confidence in getting the maximum return for all the stakeholders." (February 2018)
- Anonymous 12m Post Award Client Survey

“TA's gained from the professionalism and knowledge provided by TPI's staff. I was able to save a considerable amount of administrative time using TPI's joint procurement process." (February 2018)
- Anonymous 12m Post Award Client Survey

“The minibus procurement has been our first partnership with TPI, and to date it has been a resounding success. TTC has ordered a total of 20 minibuses on this joint procurement. TPI has demonstrated sound technical knowledge and have been very responsive to TTCs needs. We appreciate TPI adhering to the planned schedule and providing us with regular updates. Looking forward to future partnerships!” (2017)
- Loris Dametto, Program Manager – Vehicle Procurement / Warranty, Toronto Transit Commission

"The City of Peterborough is pleased with our recent decision to join the Metrolinx Transit Procurement Initiative. The staff at Metrolinx made the decision easy with their responsiveness and flexibility in dealing with our questions and requests for information about contracts they had awarded under this process. Joining TPI for the 8M bus purchase saved us a minimum of 4-6 months in procurement time, allowing us to target implementation of new services for our customers almost half a year earlier than we originally expected. We are looking forward to participating in future joint procurements in the coming years." (2017)
- Kevin Jones, Manager, Transportation’ City of Peterborough

“Temiskaming Transit has recently joined the TPI joint procurement partnership. We have been able to gain access to more potential bidders and more purchasing power by having multiple municipalities working together. The joint procurement program that TPI offers, allows smaller municipalities like ours more opportunities, and allows for senior technical staff at TPI to share their knowledge and expertise with us.” (2016)
- Mitch Lafreniere, Manager of Physical Assets, City of Temiskaming Shores

“We continue to be happy in our relationship with Metrolinx, including the TPI initiative, which has made our decision-making for fleet purchases much easier.” (2016)
- Dave Sherlock, General Manager, St. Catharines Transit Commission

"Kingston Transit placed its first bus order through a TPI joint procurement contract 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." (2015)
- Robert (Bud) Steele, Manager of Fleet, Kingston Transit

"As a small transit agency that has 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." (2015)
- Nadyne Mattis, Director of Operations, Quinte Access Transportation

"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." (2014)
- 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.“ (2014)
- Tony D'Alessandro, Coordinator, Transit, Engineering Services, Town of Milton

"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." (2013)
- Doug Murray, Transit Maintenance Supervisor, Burlington Transit