Title

PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC TRANSIT SERVICES. A SUMMARY OF AN INFORMATIONAL REPORT

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1992

Subject Area

planning - signage/information, organisation - privatisation, organisation - privatisation, mode - mass transit

Keywords

Transit, Public transit, Public sector, Privatization, Privatisation, Private sector, Private enterprise, Mass transit, Local transit, Governments

Abstract

A new interest in private sector involvement in transit service provision is noted. Such involvement, it is expected, would solve some of the industry's problems by increasing productivity, reducing costs, attracting more riders, and finding innovative ways of providing services. It is also pointed out that it is the monopolistic and uncompetitive environment in which transit (public and private) operates that causes problems. A 1984 Federal Transit Administration (FTA) policy of setting up processes between the private and public sectors is discussed. The article briefly reviews cases of privatization across the country in Kansas, California, Texas, Maryland, and Michigan. The competitive spirit that reduces costs and improves performance in a public transit agency as a result of service contracting is referred to as the 'ripple effect.' Examples of these are described from England, Virginia, California, Utah, Indiana, Oregon, and Kentucky.