The theme of this book is how to think about transit financing. The most crucial question, at least for the largest cities, is whether to invest in new rail transit systems, which not only cost unpredictably large amounts but also disrupt communities physically and politically while under construction. A second major consideration, which confronts all cities, is whether transit should be regarded as a consumer good like other utility services--to be paid for primarily by charges--or a public good--to be paid for by taxes. It is concluded that the financial pressures on transit agencies and services can be expected to continue and increase, regardless of the looming energy crisis. The principal resource still available to transit is greater financial and operating efficiency, which entails an increase in the quantity and quality of services rendered with a less than proportionate increase in real costs. Achieving efficiency is quite uncommon largely because transit regulation historically has concentrated on preserving existing schedules and fare structures, and on the overall financial condition of transit properties, rather than on developmental objectives and service improvements. Modern transit management, on the other hand, must continually scrutinize patronage and costs of each segment of transit service with the requirement that each segment justify itself by a favorable ratio of benefits and costs.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Institute of Public Administration


    Urban Mass Transportation Administration

    Office of Policy and Program Development, 400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    Department of Transportation

    Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Publication Date: 1979-7

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 331 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00308843
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT-I-79-16, Final Report
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 22 2003 12:00AM