Public Transport Success Stories
Situation: In 1980, the San Diego area began a gradual conversion of its public
transport bus system to competitive tendering (competitive contracting).
Approximately 44 percent of bus service was competitively tendered as of
Results: Competitively tendered bus services have routinely been less expensive than the non-competitive services offered by the former public transport monopoly, San Diego Transit. In 1997, competitively tendered bus services were 30.7 percent less expensive than services that have not been competitively tendered. As a result:
7 Years Free: It is estimated that San Diego has saved nearly $550 million in operating costs
compared to if its costs had risen at the inflation rate. At the annual operating
expenditures rate of $82 million, competitive tendering paid for the equivalent of
nearly seven years of bus operations over the last twenty years.
In response to the service increases, bus ridership has increased more than 50 percent.
Note: All data calculated from San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board and National Transit Database information.