Transit agency is a government entity that provides public transportation services.
A transit agency can be...
- A city or county department
- A partnership between the cities and/or counties
- An independent special district (like school districts)
Public transportation was a form of public utility that once provided by private companies under government regulations (similar to gas, electricity, and garbage). In the 1970s, as private companies abandon scheduled service with rising operating cost and declining fare revenue, government began to take over and subsidize transit operation. In 1971, the California state legislature passed the Transit Development Act, which began state's support for public transit. In addition, the federal government provides funding to transit agencies through the Federal Transit Administration. Many counties have local sales taxes and/or other taxes dedicated to transit operations.
Although transit agencies are government entities, many transit agencies contract out parts or all of the services to private companies.