Mrs. Mariam Jumaan is an Electrical Engineer by profession. She attained her Bachelors and Masters degrees in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in Canada in 1982 and 1983 respectively.
Mrs. Jumaan started her career with the Ministry of Electricity and Water in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and has risen through the ranks of the Ministry starting off as a Trainee Engineer in 1983. Mrs. Jumaan was a Power System Studies Engineer for 10 years until 1995, after which she was appointed as an Electrical Engineering Specialist associated with the office of the Director, Electricity Transmission.
It was during this time that she started to become involved in the preparation of load and energy forecasts as well as the preparation of electricity transmission development plans for the Ministry of Electricity and Water and which would become her area of expertise in the future.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small country in terms of area and population. Nevertheless, the population density is high and car ownership and private vehicles is the major mode of traveling. The current Public Transport service, which is operated by the private sector is not satisfactory in terms of number of buses, frequencies, coverage, and other standards and specifications. The contract of the private operator was due to expire and a strategic decision was taken of the necessity to improve the public transport services to a much higher standard than the existing one.
A study was initiated aimed to produce a tailor-made solution to the local challenges. The study started by reviewing the existing public transport services. Strategic goals were set. These goals were then transformed into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which included, amongst other service and performance indicators, the coverage area, population coverage, routes, bus-stops, frequencies, and headways, etc. At the end of this exercise Bahrain had newly designed criteria and specifications for the new and upcoming Bus service.
The Ministry also developed a Financial Model that would govern the next period of operation for the new Operator and this model took into consideration the existing realities for Bahrain and was based on analysis of similar Bus Operations and in line with the standards and benchmarks that the Kingdom had set for its new Operator.
The purpose of this paper is to present the process that was followed in deciding the type of contract for privatization of the public transport service in Bahrain which best served the strategic goals and the local challenges and, strategically for Bahrain, would lead to an increase in patronage levels with the least financial burden on the public budget. The paper will present a brief of the review work done as well as the analyzing process of the different cost models taking into account various factors such as the risk, the operation performance indicators, the financial obligations, the duration of the contract..