Transit Systems Flush with Riders, Strapped for Cash
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The article highlights the struggle that city transit authorities currently have in dealing with a sharp increase in demand for public buses and trains coupled with record fuel costs and tight budgets. Despite increased ridership, transit systems are not realizing a bottom-line improvement because, as Downs points out, “transit ridership does not cover the cost of providing the service.”
Downs suggests emergency funding through the Federal Highway Trust Fund as one part of the solution. He states that the rising demand is an opportunity for transit authorities to “position themselves for long-term growth.”
Citiwire.net is a new service from the Citistates Group which offers weekly articles for readers interested in metropolitan policy and planning. Each week features an article from noted columnist and Citistates Group co-founder Neal Pierce and one from another of the Citistates group associates.
Tom Downs is Chairman of the North American Board of Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of the Paris-based Corporation which runs transit systems around the globe, including 60 in the United States. Downs was previously the CEO of Amtrak and the Commissioner of Transportation in New Jersey