The TSC has been engaged in transport benchmarking for over 20 years, continuously developing and refining the benchmarking process. We have identified a number of success factors leading to purposeful and rigorous performance benchmarking.

Success Factors for Benchmarking


Benchmarking groups are formed modally, but participating transport agencies range across sizes, ages, geography, technology.


Each group operates within a strict confidentiality agreement. This allows for full data and information exchange within the group but not externally. This overcomes political and commercial sensitivities.


A long-term approach to benchmarking pays off. It can take several years and iterative cycles to achieve benchmarking indicators that are comparable and reported on a consistent basis. One-off benchmarking studies are rarely successful for this reason.

Ownership and Independence

Each benchmarking group is owned and run by its participants. This ensures that the focus is directed towards their highest priority needs of the members and directs efforts towards the areas which will produce the greatest benefits. Each group’s annual activities are determined by the member organisations.


There is a strong focus from participants and the TSC applied research team on results that can be implemented, performance improvement, and on informing strategy. We work closely with the academic research team at the TSC to analyse benchmarking data. 

Continuous Improvement Culture

International benchmarking is a learning opportunity for transport organisations and the agencies who benefit the most from their participation tend to have strong internal networks for communicating benchmarking results and outcomes, an openness and willingness to learn and adapt.