Information for School Travel Service suppliers

Latest update – 14 June 2024

Southampton City Council is pleased to confirm that its new Passenger Transport Dynamic Purchasing System is open for applications from suitably qualified service providers.  

The opportunity can be accessed via our Tender platform (Proactis) and searching for Passenger Transport Dynamic Purchasing System or via the reference REQ/1000245.

Applying to become a supplier for the School Travel Service

We welcome applications from transport providers in Southampton who would like to join the School Travel Service network of suppliers. This will enable you to bid on available opportunities via the council’s Passenger Transport Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS).

Register for a free Supplier Account on Proactis

First, please register for a Supplier Account on the Southampton City Council supplier portal (Proactis).

Proactis sign in or register page

Once your application has been registered and approved on Proactis, you will be able to apply for School Travel Service opportunities/tenders via the council’s DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System).

About the DPS (Dynamic Purchasing System)

Southampton City Council’s DPS was established in 2019 and runs to the end of 2028, with a review scheduled to be undertaken by 1 March 2024 to ensure the contracts are offering the best value for money.

Joining the DPS

Search for a suitable ‘Home to School’ opportunity on the DPS and complete the mandatory information required to proceed with your application. These details are required under the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and must be completed in full. Note: Failure to provide all required information will result in your application being rejected and you will have to re-apply.

Guidance documents to support you when applying for School Travel Service opportunities are available within the DPS.

Opportunities within the Home to School DPS

Our DPS is structured with three separate ‘Lots’ as follows:

  • Lot 1 – Vehicles up to four passengers (plus driver)
  • Lot 2 – Vehicles for 5-8 passengers (plus driver)
  • Lot 3 – Vehicles for 9-16 passengers (plus driver)

Once you are approved as a supplier on our Home to School DPS you will be able to access available opportunities to bid for School Travel Service routes relevant to the Lot you have selected. You will not see opportunities relating to Lots you have not selected.

When an opportunity becomes available, a simple document outlining the details of the requested route (including pick up and drop off locations and any special requirements) will be advertised and you will receive an email invitation from Proactis. These are closed opportunities and as such are only accessible to registered DPS providers.

Note: Due to the urgent nature of the service, some of these opportunities will only be "live" for 48-72 hours. To avoid missing potential opportunities, we recommend, where possible, that your account is registered to a general email address to which multiple people have access.

Routes are usually evaluated on a 100% price basis, so the lowest ‘daily rate’ will win. However, Southampton City Council reserves the right to challenge abnormally low tenders where we have a concern that the costs provided will not meet the required levels of service.

In certain circumstances, where there are specific service requirements, or significant complex needs from the service user, we may advertise opportunities under a price/quality evaluation. This means you will be asked to provide method statement responses that will be evaluated based on your proposed service delivery method.

If you are successful with your bid for a route, or routes, you will be contacted to notify you that you will be awarded the route and to let you know that a Call-off Order will be drafted. The Call-off Order document contains details of the route you have won, along with relevant terms linked to the over-arching DPS contract. This document is issued via DocuSign and must be signed before you can begin delivery of the service.

Once the contract is in place for a specific route, any communication or discussion regarding it must be directed to the School Travel Service Team, who act as the contract managers for the services being provided.

Where to direct your questions

If you have any questions regarding the above, please contact one of the following departments:

Portland Terrace - bus/taxi/cycle only restriction

A map of the changes to Portland Terrace highlighting new restrictions that apply between the junction with Spa Road and the unnamed road that intersects with Castle Way just before the junction with Albion Place.

The new bus/taxi/cycle only section of Portland Terrace has been introduced to improve bus journey times to the new Albion Place bus hub, which is currently under construction.

Please remember that the section of Portland Terrace between Spa Road and the former Castle Way Car Park is only accessible to the following authorised vehicles:

  • Buses
  • Southampton licensed taxis on duty
  • Cyclists (not motorcycles/mopeds)
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Any service vehicle carrying out a statutory duty (for example, refuse collection)

We will continue to evaluate and monitor the scheme.

Find out more on Connecting Southampton.