Thursday, September 18, 2014

Metro rail fact of the day

The Atlantic has farebox recovery figures for New York transit system,
In 2012, $7.7 billion dollars of state and local tax revenues went to New York City Transit, not counting what when to the commuter railroads and other operations. That's a lot—nearly $1,000 for every man, woman, and child who lives in New York City. Why didn't it feel like enough? Because less than half of it, roughly $3.2 billion, was reinvested in the system. The majority, about $4.5 billion, was used to keep fares low by paying operating costs. On average, each New York City transit rider paid only 43 percent of the cost of his or her ride; every $2.50 swipe of your Metrocard gets matched by $3.31 in tax dollars.
And, this about the Hong Kong model, whose self-sustainability is widely acclaimed,
Between 2001 and 2005, property development produced 52% of Mass Transit Railway Corporation's (MTRC) revenues. By contrast, railway income, made up mostly of farebox receipts, generated 28% of total income. MTRC's involvement in property-related activities - development, investment, and management - produced 62% of total income, more than twice as much as fares. 

Clearly, a subway dominated urban mass transit is not cheap and imposes a massive fiscal strain. And this is despite two of the largest passenger volumes, higher relative tariffs, and very efficient operations. 

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