It was interesting to read about the late Mayor Robert Wagner wanting to sell the Transit Authority municipal bus system to private operators. (T.A, Mayor At Odds Over Sale of Buses - Long Island Star Journal from Back In The Day Friday, March 8, 1957).
Fast forward to 2005 when New York City purchased the eight remaining private bus operator franchises. MTA Bus was created and entered into 50-year lease agreements to utilize and operate all of their garages and buses.
The deal was supposed to benefit riders and taxpayers. Give MTA Bus credit for purchasing hundreds of new buses and investments to upgrade garages. But the operational savings for taxpayers never appeared.
Instead the $100 million per year city subsidy formerly provided to the private bus operators has grown to $200 million for MTA Bus. The former private bus operator owners earn several million per year from MTA Bus for leasing their facilities.
Potential operational savings by consolidating duplicative routes between NYTC Bus and MTA Bus never took place. Ditto for reducing deadheading costs by reassigning bus routes between MTA Bus and NYCT Bus to closer garages for reduction of operating costs.
We have gone full circle from private to public operators over the past 58 years. Who knows it was worth it.