Developing a cost-sharing program for public transit has been identified as one of the most critical issues in the transportation field today. Ideally the cost burden of public transit should be distributed among users and different tiers of government according to the share of total benefits each receives. Measuring, much less distributing, the full range of benefits, however, is almost impossible to carry out with any degree of precision. On the whole, empirical evidence suggests that the benefits of transit have been fairly modest, accruing primarily to users who live in large urban areas. The provision of improved mobility to the needy, relief of congestion, and improved land uses are the primary social benefits. Other benefits are of secondary importance. In the absence of suitable empirical data, knowledgeable state and local transit officials were surveyed to determine who benefits from transit services. There appeared to be a strong consensus that roughly one-half of the total benefits accrue directly to users, one-quarter to local residents in general, and the remaining one-quarter evenly to constituents of state governments and the federal government. This pro-rata distribution matches current expenditure patterns fairly well; however, there appears to be a common belief that the role of the user in sharing costs should be expanded somewhat and the role of governments should be contracted. This is quite consistent with current fiscal policy. Ultimately, however, any decision on transit cost-sharing must be political, keeping in mind what a currently known transit benefits.

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 15-19
  • Monograph Title: Public transportation and transit operations planning
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00387631
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 0309036526
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Sep 28 1984 12:00AM