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Old 03-30-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 893,774 times
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I was reading about farebox recovery ratios and it seems like few public transit systems can really get by without subsidy but I was wondering if there were any that do get a net profit. I don't think many American transit systems are private, but for the public ones that earn a net profit, if they do, where does it usually go (or where would it go)?

It seems like all of the ones I've read about in cities that earn enough money from fares to pay for themselves are examples from cities not in the US. Then again, you can also earn from other sources like ads, not just fares.

Would any American ones do? Which US cities' systems do you think would get a net profit?
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:18 PM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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The NYC subway farebox recovery ratio is currently 77%. It wouldn't be too much harder to raise it near 100%. Best way to do so would to have a zone fare system, as currently a Manhattan resident traveling 2 miles pays the same as an outer borough resident going 9 miles, with the latter probably on an emptier train, at least off peak. Doing so would be regressive and politically impractical. And pointless, IMO.

Does Metro ask riders to pay too much? - Greater Greater Washington

Raising fares is probably more practical than most, as the decline in transit trips to cars would be small, it's a bit of a captive audience.

http://secondavenuesagas.com/2008/07...ble-the-fares/
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:20 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Some private bus agencies report a profit, mainly commuter oriented buses for New Jersey / NY west of the Hudson. And oddly, SEPTA trollybuses.

Cap'n Transit Rides Again: The 2008 farebox numbers
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Old 03-30-2014, 10:26 PM
 
Location: East coast
613 posts, read 893,774 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
The NYC subway farebox recovery ratio is currently 77%. It wouldn't be too much harder to raise it near 100%. Best way to do so would to have a zone fare system, as currently a Manhattan resident traveling 2 miles pays the same as an outer borough resident going 9 miles, with the latter probably on an emptier train, at least off peak. Doing so would be regressive and politically impractical. And pointless, IMO.

Does Metro ask riders to pay too much? - Greater Greater Washington

Raising fares is probably more practical than most, as the decline in transit trips to cars would be small, it's a bit of a captive audience.

Thinking Out Loud: The MTA should double the fares :: Second Ave. Sagas
I take it that it is highly unlikely for a city bus or subway/metro system to come close to 100%, right? At least in practical terms that the general public will accept, like raising fares or changing fare systems as you mention.

Usually the highest I read about are 70-80%. I wonder if a city's transit has ever gotten near self-sustaining at some point over the years in the past.

I wonder how much ads/businesses (such as the businesses inside stations) contribute too and if there is any potential in that regard (eg. businesses that pop up near transit oriented growth) in the future for cities.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:37 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Are the numbers people are posting direct costs only or direct and indirect?
What do you mean by indirect costs?
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
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Many distance-based systems in Asia are profitable. Most others are not.

Farebox recovery ratio - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That model would need to change in the US, but there's a bigger issue with perception and desirability because transit is bastardized in the US. Enough people need to ride AND the system needs to recover funding based on distance of each ride.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:20 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,020 posts, read 102,689,903 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
What do you mean by indirect costs?
Construction, maintenance, land acquisition, pensions, all the pieces that go into providing the system.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:57 AM
 
Location: Thunder Bay, ON
2,610 posts, read 3,765,448 times
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I'm pretty sure these numbers consider only operating costs.

Toronto's GO Transit comes close at 82% farebox recovery. The fares are distance based, but they're still very expensive over shorter distances, so it's not very practical as a more urban mass transit system (rather than suburban/commuter).

Cost of a one way ticket

Bloor to Union: $5.20
Burlington to Union: $9.80
Kitchener to Union: $16.10

Burlington is I think about 10 times further than Bloor, and Kitchener about 20 times further. Bloor to Union costs I think close to double what it would cost on the TTC. The cost per trip goes down the more trips you take, but it's still pretty high. I think it's fair that high end transit like this is less subsidized than transit that's more affordable to provide.

The TTC has 73% farebox recovery, I think the subways are profitable, although their ridership would not be as high if not for the buses so it's not entirely fair to isolate them like that. Vancouver's Skytrain might have >100% farebox recovery too, it's pretty cheap to operate since the trains are automated.

Last edited by memph; 03-31-2014 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 03-31-2014, 08:57 AM
 
Location: North of Boston
444 posts, read 485,198 times
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Boston's farebox recover ratio is terrible at 37%
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:03 AM
 
Location: New York
2,003 posts, read 4,399,358 times
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Default transit bargain

Also consider the trillions in oil wars necessary to sustain the car culture. Then there are the environmental disasters like Exxon Valdez & BP Gulf rig. Makes transit look like a bargain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiamiRob View Post
because people think "mass transit" equates to "Welfare" yet highways aren't considered in the same light since they are used by many more people.
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