1) I realize that most Staten Island express buses don't go through New Jersey. How does this negate my point of X17s and the X30 being routed through New Jersey to provide comparable service and speed to the privates?
2) The equipment and service was also a big factor. Academy still did a decent business on Richmond Avenue despite lower MTA fares. The fares are important, but a private bus could still compete at $3 if they utilize the bus well, such as charters or tours. The union wants those fares at $2 for a reason. I'm not saying that the fare wasn't a significant part, but other factors come in to play as well.
By the way, private companies continue to press X27 and X28 services illegally at $4 fares. Why do they still exist?
3) You mean the X23 and X24 aren't NYCDOT routes? You could have fooled me...HEHE.