Costs in Small Public Transit Systems in Oregon Joshua Crain CE 458: Public Transportation Systems June 4, 2009
Objectives What are the funding sources? How much does it cost to provide service? Is this any different from a large transit agency? Does scale really matter? To examine several small transit systems in Oregon and learn:
How Are Small Transit Systems Different? • Serve smaller populations • Lower population density • Small cities or counties • Generally offer lower quality of service • Less frequent service • Smaller service area and fewer destinations • Might be primarily para-transit or commuter service • Higher operations cost per trip • Fares may or may not cost more than a larger transit system
Conclusion • All public transportation systems are different. • RVTD finances are more like TriMet than BAT despite being a similar size transit agency. • Smaller transit agencies rely less funding from local sources, more on grants. • Small does not necessarily mean low farebox returns. • Less use means higher costs per trip. • More transit use per capita allows for higher efficiency.
Perspectives Despite a large percentage of grants, small transit systems still spend more local money per trip than TriMet. It is really expensive to provide transit to small cities and counties. Yes, scale really matters.