The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of Bad Transit

MLewyn's picture
good transit means low subsidies

One common argument against public transit is that transit doesn't pay for itself.  A recent article in Citylab points out that the best transit systems (that is, high-ridership systems like New York's) actually lose less money per rider than the minimal transit systems that are more common in the U.S.  For example, New York's transit loses less than $1 per trip, while Dallas transit loses over $4 per trip.   

So creating a car-oriented transportation system on the grounds that transit doesn't pay for itself creates a self-fulfilling prophecy: reduced service means reduced ridership, which actually means more subsidies per rider. 

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