- Enforcement. We need minimum standards of safety and responsibility. Transit providers need to be adequately licensed and insured, and to follow employment and traffic safety laws.
- Coverage. Some routes and schedules are necessary to provide access for all, or to complete a network so that other routes become useful, but are uncompetitive with private cars on even a basic two-lane paved road. If we want access for all, it has to be done by the government.
- Speed boosts. Buses have an inherent time disadvantage against private cars in stopping for multiple passengers. Government can compensate for that disadvantage by providing quickways that allow buses to get to the front of the line, recognizing their greater value.
- Loading, terminal and depot coordination. One thing that private buses do badly is loading. Bus operators have killed each other over access to passengers at the curb. Many of the recent complaints against buses in Lower Manhattan concern the loading of passengers and the storage of buses by private operators. Government needs the authority to regulate this properly to ensure a level playing field that promotes transit and avoids backlash.
- Fare coordination. Incompatible fare systems allow operators to compete at the expense of passengers. Government can provide a single payment system that allows for transfers, TransitChek and other advantages.
- Route and schedule planning. Is this necessary beyond coverage requirements? I haven't made up my mind.
Am I missing anything?