About the Group

Quick Summary – ISBeRG is an international benchmarking group for suburban rail operators. ISBeRG’s principal aim is to identify and share best practices in a confidential environment. The group is owned and run by the members themselves and managed by the Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) at Imperial College London. The members gather twice a year at meetings hosted by the member railways around the world and stay in ongoing contact through the group’s secure website and online forum as well as through the project management, benchmarking analysis, and coordination provided by the TSC.

The Group’s Objectives

Share knowledge and identify best practices in a confidential environment

Support members in achieving their operational, environmental and strategic goals

Measure performance and establish best practices through a system of measures

Prioritise areas for improvement and support decision-making

ISBeRG History

The Transport Strategy Centre (TSC) at Imperial College London 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.

In 2009, following expressions of interest from several operators, ISBeRG was established as an international benchmarking group for suburban railway based on the then 18 years of experience gained by the TSC through the successful management of the Community of Metros and the International Bus Benchmarking Group (IBBG).

In January 2010, the group’s development phase commenced, with founding members from New York (MTA Metro-North Railroad and MTA Long Island Rail Road), Oslo (Vy), and London (London Rail).  JR East in Tokyo also joined as a founding member in March 2010.

In November 2010, Phase 1 of the benchmarking process started, with the founding members joined by five additional railways: BART in San Francisco, CPTM in São Paulo, the DB Regio S-Bahn in Munich, S-Tog in Copenhagen, and Metro Trains in Melbourne. Early in 2011 Sydney CityRail joined Phase 1 as the 11th member.

In December 2011, Phase 2 of the benchmarking progress began, and in the following six months members were joined by FGC in Barcelona, Queensland Rail in Brisbane, and MTR in Hong Kong. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) joined in Phase 3, with their Cape Town MetroRail operations.

The group is now over a decade old with membership from 13 suburban railways, covering 12 world cities in five continents.

Other Benchmarking Groups

ISBeRG 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 metro, bus, rail, light rail, and airport sectors. All combined, they represent more than 100 transit 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)
  • International Mainline Rail Benchmarking Group (IMRBG)
  • Railway Infrastructure Asset Management Benchmarking Group (RIAMBiG)
  • Airport Benchmarking Group (ABG)
  • FLIRT Optimisation and Innovation Group (FLIRT)
COMET Website
IBBG Website
ABBG Website
GOAL Website