School transport in New Caledonia: budget under control on island of Lifou

| 2 October 2017

At the end of 2015, the local authorities of Lifou (part of the Loyalty Islands Province of New Caledonia) entrusted Transamo-Secal with a mission to assist the reorganisation of public school transport on the island.
At the time, Lifou had 55 bus routes run by 33 different operators, for 1,700 pupils.

The mission entailed two key challenges:

  • assist the town and the bus operators (who were required for the first time to follow a tendering procedure);
  • propose ambitious scenarios for a reorganisation that would reduce the school transport budget without negatively impacting service.

In parallel, it was important to consider the social and economic situation of the transporters, while also ensuring the provision of efficient and good-quality service for the children.

The work by Transamo-Secal to inform and support the transport operators, parents and town officials laid the foundations for a collective commitment to the diagnostic process. This improved the chances for success of the revised service and contracts. Transamo notably provided expertise in analysing the local context and proposing a reorganisation of the transport system.

The study showed that various optimisations could potentially represent a savings of 10 million CFP Francs (XPF), i.e. approximately €84,000 out of an initial budget of 200 million XPF (€1,676,000).  Lifou is committed to achieving this goal. Restructuring has already begun and will be gradually rolled out over the coming years, without disruption, mindful of social aspects, while guaranteeing the quality of service.

Satisfied with this first mission, the town is now thinking of commissioning a review of the rules of conduct and the stops on the school bus routes as part of its ongoing efforts to provide quality school transport service with an optimized budget.