Skip to Content
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Streetsblog San Francisco home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

New Survey: 84% of Transit Agencies Facing Fare Hikes, Service Cuts

Budget shortfalls exacerbated by the lingering recession have forced 84
percent of local transit agencies to hike fares, cut service, or begin
considering one or both of those options since the beginning of 2009,
according to a report released today by the American Public
Transportation Association (APTA).

chaaaart.png(Chart: APTA)

APTA's bleak survey reflects
data from 151 rail and bus systems throughout the nation, which together
carry more than eight of every 10 U.S. transit riders. Sixty-nine
percent of that group reported looming budget gaps for the coming fiscal
year, with 11 agencies facing a deficit larger than 20 percent (see
chart at right).

The economic downturn has taken a particular toll on agencies'
operating budgets, putting layoffs in the mix and prompting a
schism within
the industry over redirecting federal formula grants
to cover transit operating costs.

Nearly one-half (49 percent) of every transit system surveyed by
APTA has redirected capital funds, which are set aside for acquiring or
upgrading equipment, to cover operating budget shortfalls. Another 18
percent of responding agencies said such a capital funding transfer was
under consideration for the future.

“As bad as things are today, more drastic service cuts, fare
increases, layoffs, and deferred capital projects will occur if this
problem is
not addressed,” APTA President William Millar said in a statement on the
survey results, urging Congress to approve temporary federal operating
aid beyond that already
for the Obama administration's economic stimulus law.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter