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Old 02-26-2014, 09:01 AM
 
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My main point is that it's an apples to oranges comparison. Farebox recovery is always a measure of fare revenue to *operating costs* and does not include capital contruction costs or initial rail stock costs. On the other hand, road subsidy claims measure user revenues (fuel taxes, tolls, fees) against *all* the costs of road infrastructure. The ratio would be well over 100% if motorist revenue were measured only against the cost of maintaining a road.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:08 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceangaia View Post
My main point is that it's an apples to oranges comparison. Farebox recovery is always a measure of fare revenue to *operating costs* and does not include capital contruction costs or initial rail stock costs. On the other hand, road subsidy claims measure user revenues (fuel taxes, tolls, fees) against *all* the costs of road infrastructure. The ratio would be well over 100% if motorist revenue were measured only against the cost of maintaining a road.
Do they? Is new highway construction accounted for? Not disagreeing, but I'd like to see numbers. I'm sure for truly expensive projects, like Boston's Big Dig*, I'd highly doubt that user revenues count account for all capital construction costs.

*Yes I know it's an extreme example, but I'm using it to make a point, that large road projects get subsidies too.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Those fare box recovery rates seem unusually low. In my region, BART fare is revo re us about 65%, SF muni and AC transit are around 50%. And the worst suburban systems are in the 30s. Where are these 15% places?
There are a lot of transit systems just like there are a lot of roads. While New York, SF and Chicago may be very large for individual cities, they only account for so much of the population that lives in urban areas. After you've added up all of the Milwaukees, Nashvilles, Corpus Christis, and Kalamazoos of America, you get a pretty large population. And those cities have transit too. It's just that urbanists generally equate "transit" with cities that have rail.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:24 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
There are a lot of transit systems just like there are a lot of roads. While New York, SF and Chicago may be very large for individual cities, they only account for so much of the population that lives in urban areas. After you've added up all of the Milwaukees, Nashvilles, Corpus Christis, and Kalamazoos of America, you get a pretty large population.
However, they account for a large portion of the transit spending and ridership of the country.

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And those cities have transit too. It's just that urbanists generally equate "transit" with cities that have rail.
A slight majority (almost exactly half) of transit ridership in the US is rail (see APTA numbers). You don't need to be an urbanist to make that assumption nor resort to stereotypes, I used to make that assumption mainly from growing up on Long Island (most didn't use the buses, but many rode the LIRR at least occasionally, and used the NYC subway in the city but had little need for the bus). I do equate transit with buses as well now, but that's because I live elsewhere and ride the bus frequently.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
However, they account for a large portion of the transit spending and ridership of the country.
But obviously not enough to pull the farebox recovery rate for the nation as a whole above 21% (if that number is indeed accurate).

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
A slight majority (almost exactly half) of transit ridership in the US is rail (see APTA numbers).You don't need to be an urbanist to make that assumption nor resort to stereotypes, I used to make that assumption mainly from growing up on Long Island (most didn't use the buses, but many rode the LIRR at least occasionally, and used the NYC subway in the city but had little need for the bus). I do equate transit with buses as well now, but that's because I live elsewhere and ride the bus frequently.
So that means the other half of trips aren't on rail. And let's be serious here. New York City rail ridership alone accounts for over a quarter of all transit trips in the United States. So when we are talking about "transit" in the overwhelming majority of U.S. metros, we're talking mostly about buses.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:46 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nei View Post
Do they? Is new highway construction accounted for? Not disagreeing, but I'd like to see numbers. I'm sure for truly expensive projects, like Boston's Big Dig*, I'd highly doubt that user revenues count account for all capital construction costs.

*Yes I know it's an extreme example, but I'm using it to make a point, that large road projects get subsidies too.
I wasn't saying it didn't. I said the 50% figure for roads includes capital contruction and that IF such construction was excluded, as it is for transit, the revenues would cover road "operating costs". Now if we include the cost to build out the rail systems and buy rolling stock, I would bet the fare recovery ratio for transit would plummet.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
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I wonder how much you'd have to increase the public transit subsidy to get fare box recovery to equal 51% of total public transit spending?
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:16 PM
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Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I wonder how much you'd have to increase the public transit subsidy to get fare box recovery to equal 51% of total public transit spending?
I think you're looking at it backwards. If the fare box recovery increased to 51%, the subsidy would be lowered. The subsidy would be 49%. With 21% recovery, the subsidy is 79%. And keep in mind that's only direct costs (usually).
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:43 PM
 
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Fuel taxes have e been lowered as far as revenues since cars get better mileage. A lot debate now to tax for usage since they still travel the same among generally. Also fuel tax also have increasing been used for non-highway subsidty. Basically what is need is those non-highway to pay their way more in service fees. Look at a public local bus system that cost 3.1 million a year and takes in only 300K in fares shows the problem. Half of the reminder is local and half federally funded.They are looking since federal is going to be cut in coming years and even found they could pay for local private taxi cheaper what city pays alone.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
I think you're looking at it backwards. If the fare box recovery increased to 51%, the subsidy would be lowered. The subsidy would be 49%. With 21% recovery, the subsidy is 79%. And keep in mind that's only direct costs (usually).
I think he's talking about subsidies for capital costs. In other words, if you built 100 more miles of track in Metro Atlanta, would the farebox recovery cover the operating costs. The idea, I suppose, is that if you build it, they will ride it.
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