Exploring Opportunities to Expand Public Transportation Services in Florida Through Potential Private Sector Participation: Phase I - Analysis of Contracting for Fixed Route Bus Service

As the gap between transportation infrastructure and service needs and available resources continues to grow, elected officials, government executives and transportation professionals are continually challenged to assess and explore methods for operating more efficiently. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is interested in examining the potential for and issues surrounding greater private sector participation in the provision of public transportation in the state. Previous experience with the privatization of government functions implies that the shift to the private sector can be most effective when there is a strong need for flexibility, the extent and level of the service is easy to quantify, and the private sector has more expertise than a government entity in an area. Privatization has been shown to be less than ideal in circumstances where potential cost savings are not easily calculable, effectiveness is overly sacrificed for efficiency, there is a lack of competition, too much of the appropriate government or regulatory control is yielded, and procurement arrangements are not transparent. In keeping with its tradition of understanding best practices and lessons learned by others, FDOT is requesting Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) to provide detailed data on this topic through a reallocation of National Center for Transit Research project funds. In this anticipated first phase of study, the CUTR will analyze the extent and efficacy of public transit agencies contracting with private providers for the provision of fixed route bus service. The objective of this research project is to investigate, document, analyze, and synthesize previous privatization efforts for providing fixed route public transportation services in Florida and the U.S. Additionally, the research project will identify potential criteria to be used by policy-makers in deciding the appropriateness of privatizing a public transportation function and provide comparative analysis of cost effectiveness of agencies contracting for bus service and those that directly operate it. The project will exclude the area of paratransit as not to duplicate the efforts already underway related to a forthcoming report sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council and The Able Trust. The project will include an estimate of potential savings that might accrue to transit operators in Florida, if it is demonstrated through the analysis that efficiencies can be reasonably expected.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Florida Department of Transportation

    605 Suwannee Street
    Tallahassee, FL  United States  32399-0450
  • Project Managers:

    Quigley, Diane

  • Performing Organizations:

    University of South Florida, Tampa

    Center for Urban Transportation Research
    3650 Spectrum Boulevard
    Tampa, FL  United States  33612-9446
  • Principal Investigators:

    Reich, Stephen

  • Start Date: 20100300
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110300
  • Source Data: RiP Project 28110

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01463685
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: University of South Florida, Tampa
  • Contract Numbers: 77923
  • Files: UTC, RiP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Jan 3 2013 2:28PM