Private contractors are being considered for a variety of local services, including transportation. In the last decade, miles driven by private contractors for public routes has increased 42 percent. But service isn’t without its hiccups.

In the Greater Bay Area city of Fairfield, one such private contractor has been fined 295 times in just two years because of missed routes, late buses, and even accidents. During that time, MV Transportation was fined for exceeding the number of accidents allowed per 100,000 miles drive, 18 cases of buses not showing at a stop, and 9 cases of not being on-time 90 percent of the time. Other infractions included using a cell phone while driving and speeding.

But, with budget constraints lingering, the opportunity to cut operating costs by up to 35 percent may present a real savings opportunity that other local governments may consider.

In Marin, the transit agency considered outsourcing bus services because it had been paying $133 per hour and a contractor could do the work for as little as $92 per hour. Its union ended up agreeing to a $120 per-hour rate.

Read the full story at California Watch.