A former parks commissioner of New York City, Henry Stern, who now heads the watchdog group New York Civic, says private bus operators should be allowed to take over the many bus routes that the government's Metropolitan Transportation Authority just cut. He writes:
We do not believe the public should be deprived of necessary service just because the MTA cannot operate without losing money.
Why don't the black cabs or other transit vehicles take over and serve the locations that the MTA has abandoned?
There are enough vehicles and enough drivers to serve the majority of the riders who have been shucked by the MTA, which incur much higher operating costs than necessity requires....Mayor Bloomberg's new Deputy Mayor, Stephen Goldsmith (former Mayor of Indianapolis) is noted for his past success in privatizing municipal services. What better area is there to try out privatization than one in which the public agency in charge has abandoned for financial reasons its commitment to provide service?
Mr. Stern's article is prompted in part by a Daily News story about the city Department of Transportation cracking down on a private operator who tried to provide service on one of the canceled routes. Mr. Stern called the DOT to try to get an explanation and it was, "We have asked the operator to submit documentation to show cause why they believe they can operate without the required authorizations and we await their reply. Until we have an opportunity to review their submissions, we have directed them to cease and desist from operation."
The government doesn't like competition, and it especially doesn't like competition that might make money doing something that the government loses money on.