I have nothing but respect for Erik, but in the case of contracting out I disagree. The reasons for this are pretty obvious.
Contracting out IN MOST cases usually means one thing, CUT WAGES AND BENEFITS.
I have not seen one case where a contractor pays the equivalent wage and/or benefits as the governmental entity does itself.
If that's where the public wants to save money, I say hell no.
Now my second point is this;
Why is public transit looked at as some sort of money making/losing business?
What is the police cost per bank robber?
Or the cost per house fire at the fire department
Or the cost per citizen to fund the war in Iraq?
Public services are not judged on a cost per basis.
They are provided as a right of each citizen.
This is the problem with transit today, some people insist on turning into just another profit making/losing endeavor. Some things have no business in the profit loss game, and transit is one of them.