AN EXAMINATION OF THE TRANSIT FUNDING PROCESS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL

As it has become apparent that fiscal austerity will be a prominent theme in public policy debates in the 1980s, interest has grown throughout government to find ways of increasing outputs from the limited public funds available. In the transit area, this has spawned a growing discussion of output measurement and techniques for increasing productivity. This study seeks to add a political and organizational dimension to these discussions by examining the transit funding process at the local level during the period of public ownership. The study focuses on what the recent injection of public funds has bought, and on those features of the local decision making process which have led to the particular uses chosen for the funds. This study is organized around five types of decisions which encompass the key choices made in most localities since the time of public takeover: (1) the decision to assume public operations and subsidization of transit systems; (2) decisions about the uses of Federal capital assistance; (3) decisions about the use of formula funds; (4) decisions about the appropriate response to growing demands for attention to the special transportation needs of the elderly and handicapped; and (5) decisions about the appropriate response to the growing fiscal austerity of the late 1970s. These decisions provide the basis for several policy recommendations for Federal transit administrators. The study findings are based on case studies in nine metropolitan areas. Eight of the studies covered all five of the key decisions, while the ninth focused in more detail on transportation services for the elderly and handicapped. The study cities were selected to include a wide range of sizes, population densities and growth rates, mode splits for the journey to work, durations of transit deficits, and local government expenditures per capita. (UMTA)

  • Corporate Authors:

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    Center for Transportation Studies, Room 1121
    Cambridge, MA  USA  02139

    Urban Mass Transportation Administration

    400 7th Street, SW
    Washington, DC  USA  20590
  • Authors:
    • Womack, J P
    • Altshuler, A A
  • Publication Date: 1979-5

Media Info

  • Pagination: 70 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00325350
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Urban Mass Transportation Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UMTA-MA-11-0030-80-1Final Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: MA-11-0030
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Apr 15 1981 12:00AM