NCTD to outsource 101 bus line to save money
North County Transit District has decided to contract out the 101 bus line that serves riders from Oceanside to La Jolla to First Transit, a private transportation company that currently provides some of its handicapped rider services, starting Oct.18.
North County Transit District and representatives from the cities using their transit systems have been trying to find a route that was self-contained enough to be contracted out over the last few weeks. The move will also allow the district to use drivers for other routes and save money for NCTD and cities involved.
The board also is considering hiring a private firm for all public transit routes in 2010 if financing continues to be a problem, though it may not fully resolve the anticipated deficit.
“Back in February, the board directed the executive director to begin looking at all alternatives, given the decline in state and sales tax revenues,” said Bob Campbell, board chairman. “As we move forward, we will continue to review all of our business activities with a focus of reducing costs and increasing ridership.”
Outsourcing saves money because there are costs associated with outsourcing operation and maintenance to other companies are lower than hiring staff. To cover the anticipated deficit and keep all existing drivers, NCTD would have had to cut wages by more than 30 percent.
Solana Beach Councilman Dave Roberts, who represents his city on the NCTD board, estimated that the current cut would save about $150,000. NCTD needs to make up for the $4 million estimated decline in revenue for 2010 and the State of California’s decision to eliminate $10.5 million in annual State Transit Assistance funding.
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