Making it Easier to Do Business with the Transit Industry

Posted on June 7, 2017 by Heather Redfern - Also by this author

SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel met with attendees at the spring DBE “Meet the Primes” event. Photo: SEPTA
SEPTA GM Jeffrey Knueppel met with attendees at the spring DBE “Meet the Primes” event. Photo: SEPTA
Doing business with a large transportation organization is not as daunting as one might think.The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) uses technology and in-person networking to facilitate relationships with companies pursuing opportunities with the authority.

About 10 years ago, SEPTA implemented an Electronic Procurement System (ePS), using eQuote for solicitations under $100,000. Recently, SEPTA expanded its ePS capabilities, conducting a soft launch of an electronic bid (eBid) system for selected solicitations of over $100,000.

“We previously received sealed bids that were delivered in person or sent by mail. Sometimes, the bid documents were incomplete,” said Marie Chua, SEPTA’s sr. director, procurement & supply chain.

The eBid system is aimed at automating the procurement process — once a company registers via SEPTA’s website and selects the appropriate commodity codes related to their line of business, it will receive electronic notifications for new procurement opportunities. Notices will also continue to be published on SEPTA's website and in local newspapers.

“The new system is beneficial for everyone involved. Bids cannot be submitted to SEPTA until all required information is complete. The submitter will receive an acknowledgment message once the bid is successfully transmitted," said Chua. "SEPTA can be assured that all of the bids we have received are complete. Greater operations efficiencies are achieved because we don’t have to physically open and process documents sent manually.”

SEPTA DBE Program Manager Mary Connell spoke to a standing room only crowded at the Authority’s most recent networking event. Photo: SEPTA
SEPTA DBE Program Manager Mary Connell spoke to a standing room only crowded at the Authority’s most recent networking event. Photo: SEPTA

In addition to utilizing new technologies to improve the procurement process, SEPTA supports the growth of small-, minority- and woman-owned businesses with its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. SEPTA's DBE Program is designed to meaningfully involve small businesses in all facets of SEPTA's contracting and purchasing activities.

The DBE Program Office certifies companies as DBEs and provides technical assistance, training, and other resources for vendors looking to do business with SEPTA. The authority currently has 465 certified DBE firms.

As part of its commitment to small business equity and raising the numbers of minority and woman-owned firms participating in its contracts, SEPTA holds a number of outreach events throughout the year.

“We host certification workshops and networking events and have partnered with other Greater Philadelphia region entities to spread the word on how to do business with SEPTA,” said Mary Connell, the authority’s DBE program director. “In April, we had record attendance at our ‘Meet the Primes’ event, where minority and woman-owned businesses were invited to network with our prime contractors, as well as our engineering and procurement teams.”

Heather Redfern is the Public Information Manager for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More Transit Dispatches Blog Posts

June 14, 2017

Why Investing in 'Half Measures' When Hiring Frontline Employees Will Bring Public Transit to Its Knees

The public transit industry faces a severe human resources crisis... we began to focus on the science behind identifying and hiring more resilient human beings up front, in order to make it easier to build resilience and preparedness with employees once they are onboard.

May 30, 2017

The Evolution of Streetcar Technology

While streetcars may seem like an old fashioned or nostalgic mode of transportation, today’s streetcar is far from your grandmother’s trolley. The modern streetcar has evolved in major ways in response to shifts in community needs as well as technological advances.

May 2, 2017

Leveraging IoT to Modernize Small City Public Transit Systems

The rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) device ecosystem, and the spread of high-speed broadband internet access combine to offer cities of all sizes the opportunity to modernize their mass transit systems. Doing so will enable officials to accomplish two long-standing goals: drive up the usage of public transportation and spur local economic development.

April 26, 2017

How Streetcars are Meeting the Needs of Modern Cities

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood elements of modern streetcars is what they can offer a city, and in particular, what they can offer that other modes of transportation can’t.

April 25, 2017

The Benefits and Challenges of IoT in Public Transportation

In 2017, nearly 60% of all installed IoT devices in smart cities were used in smart commercial buildings and transportation. IoT devices can help the public transportation industry reduce costs in significant ways. Consider these four ways IoT is impacting the transportation industry’s bottom line...

See More

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close