Franchise Bid Support, Various Clients

Franchise Bid Support, Various Clients


Most rail services in Britain are operated by franchised Train Operating Companies (TOCs). Franchises are awarded through a competitive process, with bidders setting out their proposals to improve services and maximise Value for Money for the taxpayer. Bidders need to demonstrate to the Department for Transport (DfT) how they will grow revenue through enhanced timetables, fares and marketing initiatives and improve service quality, while also controlling costs through efficient operation. The DfT require bidders to show that they have a robust plan for providing sufficient capacity to meet demand, and there is an increasing emphasis on improving service quality to drive customer satisfaction.

The bidding process is a demanding process. Bidding timescales are short, but bid documents and the support models and analysis must be clear, consistent and robust. Bid teams bring together experts from a broad range of disciplines who need to work effectively together.


SYSTRA has provided a number franchise bidders with key bid team resources for all of the DfT-let franchise competitions since 2013. The key areas of expertise we have provided are:

  • Revenue modelling – each bidder is required to submit a Revenue Model as part of their bid. SYSTRA develop and run models tailored to the needs of each franchise and compliant with DfT’s requirements.
  • Crowding – a key element of the Revenue Modelling suite that SYSTRA provides is a model to forecast train loadings and the suppression of demand where capacity is constrained.
  • Fares – we also develop models to forecast the impact of fares initiatives, including new products, and provide commercial advice on fares initiatives.
  • Performance – we develop models to forecast payments to and by the TOC under the rail industry’s various incentive regimes.
  • Market research – to understand key drivers of demand and satisfaction, and test initiatives to improve services with passengers.
  • Customer satisfaction – forecasting how service quality improvements are likely to driver passenger satisfaction, and how this will affect payment under franchise performance regimes.
  • Bid writing and review.

SYSTRA staff typically work as an integral part of the client’s bid team.

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