Around the world, cities are pouring millions — sometimes billions — of dollars into developing and improving public transit.
Around the world, cities are pouring millions — sometimes billions — of dollars into developing and improving public transit. But our benchmarking exercise suggests that when it comes to comparing services against other transit authorities more work can be done to collect and compare ridership and route effectiveness indicators. And, as a result, investments may be flowing into ineffective routes, modes and assets.
Transit services — also known as Public Transit — includes a wide variety of modes including bus, streetcar, metro rail and light rail. For this report, the service includes the design, construction, maintenance, repair and operation of transit routes and vehicles and excludes the para transit service.
The average city spends US$1.67 per transit trip (not counting any revenues).
The average cost per kilometer of transit route is US$24.70.
There are no consistently-used measures for effectiveness across cites or transit modes.
Operating and capital cost per transit trip. This measure combines total public transit operating costs (including internal support service costs and management costs) with the total capital costs and divides the sum by the number of reported transit trips. Percent of transit costs covered by revenue. The measure of how much operating and capital cost is covered by revenue.
Points to consider:
Percent of transit costs covered by revenue
It was surprising to find that few cities measure the average wait time between vehicles as an indicator of effectiveness. Indeed, with few consistent effectiveness measures being tracked across cities and transit modes, this exercise suggests that most cities are making transit investment and optimization decisions based on unreliable and incomplete data.