How to Make Mass Transit Financially Sustainable Once and for All | CityLab

I have a post up at CityLab (was Atlantic Cities): How to Make Mass Transit Financially Sustainable Once and for All: The seven-part case for operating public transportation as a public utility.

The words “transit” and “crisis” have been associated in the American lexicon for nearly 60 years. It is time to recognize this as a chronic condition rather than a temporary event. Current strategies have not placed transit on a financially sustainable path.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Mass Transit Financially Sustainable Once and for All | CityLab”

  1. I thought your article was interesting. I live in Provo, UT where we are in the process of getting a bus rapid transit system. We are one of the worst in air quality (in the winter) due to many issues. The $150 million project for BRT would most likely not have passed had our city gone it alone Citizens are already complaining about other improvements such as $110 to rebuild schools that in some cases are literally falling apart. Capital improvements to water systems, schools, internet, roads, etc… make it difficult to see how a midsize town would be able to absorb the capital improvement costs for BRT, Light Rail, etc… especially when it’s about 30 years before break even.point. The city of Provo is not even paying for the project directly (a coalition of local governments + a Tiger grant is), yet BRT was very close to not coming to Provo.

  2. Excellent article. Management of transit as a club good provides many alternative strategies to managing it as a public good – which it clearly is not – at least at rush hour.

    If cities benefit from economies of scale from agglomeration it’s not clear to me why tax payers in North Dakota should help finance the Green Line in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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