widespread public ownership and subsidy of transit during the past four decades. The chapter concludes with a review of more recent policies and legislation affecting the amount of transit contracting that takes place.
Chapter 3 offers a conceptual framework for the decision to contract for transit services, drawing on the precepts of organizational behavior and contract economics. This is followed by a brief review of the effects of transit contracting on service cost, quality, and safety as identified and examined in past studies. Although time constraints precluded a comprehensive review of the literature, the chapter identifies several gaps in the previous research that the committee has attempted to fill in the present study.
Chapters 4 and 5 present the survey findings. Chapter 4 describes the scope of transit service contracting today, the terms and methods employed, and the extent of competition—information obtained from Part 1 of the survey. Chapter 5 summarizes the reports of transit general managers in Part 2 of the survey on the factors influencing decisions about contracting, the positive and negative aspects of the practice, and ways to improve contracting programs.
The final chapter summarizes the main findings of the study. Taken together, these findings reveal much about the nature and extent of transit service contracting today, the motivations for and deterrents to the practice, and its advantages and disadvantages. The committee offers its own insights and ideas for further study at the conclusion of the chapter.
The committee recognizes that some public transit providers receive aid from other federal programs, such as Medicaid, and that others do not receive any federal aid at all; however, tailoring and administering surveys to such a varied population would have exceeded the time and resources available for this project.