Best Practices for Outsourcing Transit Operations

Contracting with private sector vendors can help transit agencies improve efficiency and provide better service.

1 minute read

April 14, 2024, 9:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Walkways and escalator at crowded transit station, with one person walking a bike in foreground.

Chan2545 / Adobe Stock

Writing in Smart Cities Dive, Dan Zukowski outlines recommendations recently published by the Eno Center for Transportation that indicate how transit agencies can successfully outsource some of their operations to private sector actors.

According to Eno president and CEO Robert Puentes, “transit agencies should reach out to different organizations, including private contractors, for new technologies, processes and resources.” If done smartly, this can help them cut costs and improve efficiency. Across the United States, roughly 60 percent of transit agencies contract some of their bus services, and all new commuter rail services launched between 1980 and 2016 use private contractors.

Using three case studies, the Eno report highlights best practices, including transparency and open communications with vendors. “Success factors include customizing contracts to the mode of service; allowing the contractor the flexibility to innovate; and positive working relationships between the agency and vendor.”

Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Smart Cities Dive

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