Analysis of Contracting for Fixed Route Bus Service

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

organisation - contracting, mode - bus, economics - operating costs, place - north america


Transit service, Privatization, Fixed route bus service, Contracting, Directly operated service, Purchased service


This study examines the potential for and issues surrounding private sector participation in providing public transportation in Florida. A comprehensive review of past studies and reports on the topic of contracting for service provides a valuable historical overview of data and trends as well as best practices employed by agencies to evaluate contracting fixed route bus service. The potential benefits of purchasing service as well as reasons to contract are discussed to provide transit managers with a thorough understanding of all aspects of contracting. An annual comparison of directly operated and purchased fixed route service from 1998 through 2009 identifies trends that have occurred in privatization over at least the past ten years in the U.S. and Florida. A detailed comparison of operating costs for three service metrics in 2008 versus 1998 illustrates how cost effectiveness can vary by size of agency, area of the country, and by type of service - directly operated and purchased


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by NCTR.