About the Group

Quick Summary – The International Light Rail and Tram Benchmarking Group was established in 2023 to provide a confidential forum for tram and light rail organisations around the world to learn from each other by comparing performance, sharing experiences, and identifying best practices.

What is Benchmarking?

Benchmarking is defined as a systematic process of continuously measuring, comparing and understanding organizations’ performance and changes in performance of a diversity of key business processes against comparable peers to gain information which will help the participating organizations to improve their performance.

BOLTS Objectives

Measure Performance

To develop a concise, well-balanced and comparable Key Performance Indicator system for performance measurement for use by tram and light rail organisations that will determine relative strengths and weaknesses, identify and prioritise realistic areas for improvement and support dialogue with stakeholders (e.g. senior management, boards, governments).

Prioritise Benefits to Group Members and the Industry

To provide benefits to participating members by understanding their priorities and opportunities, using this direction to deep dive into factors affecting/driving their performance levels and trends, and identifying best practices that can be explored and applied in practice.

Facilitate Collaboration and Knowledge-Sharing

To facilitate the sharing of knowledge and best or interesting practices in a confidential environment and through a variety of means, and to connect subject matter experts within member organisations to learn from each other.

Continuous Process

To establish an ongoing, repeatable benchmarking process that generates long-term insight to participating members, considering the resource available to members.

The Group’s Guiding Principles

Cooperation, independence, speed, depth and confidentiality are the guiding principles of the group and are central to its success.

Administration of the Group

The group is administered and facilitated by the  Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) at Imperial College London, a world leader in public transit benchmarking.  The TSC was set up in 1992 to serve the transport industry on strategic, technology, economic and policy issues and as a research and teaching unit within the Centre for Transport Studies.

Other Benchmarking Groups

BOLTS is one of a family of benchmarking groups facilitated by the Transport Strategy Centre. These include both North American and international benchmarking groups for the light rail, metro, bus, suburban and mainline rail, and airport sectors. All combined, they represent more than 100 agencies. The current groups are the:

  • Community of Metros (COMET)
  • International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group (ISBeRG)
  • International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG)
  • American Bus Benchmarking Group (ABBG)
  • Benchmarking Group of North American Light Rail Systems (GOAL)
  • International Mainline Rail Benchmarking Group (IMRBG)
  • Railway Infrastructure Asset Management Benchmarking Group (RIAMBiG)
  • Airport Benchmarking Group (ABG)
COMET Website
ISBeRG Website
IBBG Website
ABBG Website
RIAMBiG website