The basic justification for transit subsidy is that such a subsidy is necessary, given substantial economies of scale, in order to permit fares to be set at a level which will result in reasonably efficient use of the service. Efficiency is not, however, merely a matter of the level of the fares but even more of the fare structure and pattern. Major changes in fare patterns are needed to permit reasonable efficiency of utilization to be attained, and full advantage derived from subsidy. Differentiation according to time and direction, as well as the distance of travel, is required. Ideally, competing modes such as the private automobile should be priced at marginal cost, differentially by time and place, and the subsidy should be derived from taxes on land values in the areas where such values are enhanced by the presence of transit service at low fares. In the absence of such conditions, fares should differ from marginal cost in ways that take into account the impacts of transit fare variations on auto traffic and congestion, and on the subsidy requirements and the adverse impacts of the taxes imposed to finance the subsidy. In addition to these economic efficiency considerations there may be added considerations of distributional impact and political acceptability, which may modify the optimal solution somewhat but should not greatly change the main outlines of the patterns to be recommended. (Author/TRRL)

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    Radarweg 29
    Amsterdam,   Netherlands  1043 NX
  • Authors:
    • Vickrey, W
  • Publication Date: 1980-12

Media Info

  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 389-409
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00330831
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 15 1982 12:00AM