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The total amount of funding states provided for transit increased by more than 195% between 1990 and 2006. This continues more than a 20-year trend. Since 1985, states have provided more annual transit funding than the federal government.

  • State transit funding was $2.9 billion greater than federal transit funding in 2006.

  • Total state transit funding increased by $1.5 billion from 2005 to 2006.

  • 28 states increased their transit funding from 2005 to 2006.

  • In 2006, 94% of the states provided state funding for public transportation.

  • In 2006, 31states used state general funds and/or state tax proceeds to fund transit programs.

Local Transit Funding As for local funding of transit, the study, Coping with Transportation Funding Deficits: A Survey of the States, reported there were more local tax measures (173) than any other type of measure passed, and they were primarily devoted to funding public transit projects. Local sales tax referenda were by far the most numerous (99).

International Transit Subsidies

The report, Size, Structure, and Distribution of Transport Subsidies in Europe, by the European Environment Agency in March of 2007, provides an overview of European Union transportation subsidies. The report looks at the European Union as a whole and does not break out data by individual country. The report identifies the major types of subsidies for each transportation mode, and notes that a significant quantity of subsidies (EUR 30 billion in annual subsidies identified) provided to transport in the European Union could not be attributed to a single mode. The report, Promoting Public Transportation: A Comparison of Passengers and Policies in the U.S. and Germany, states that only cities in Germany provide subsidies to transit for operational expenses. The German government only provides subsidies for capital investments and never for operating expenses.

Literature Sources

Farebox Recovery Ratios

Farebox Recovery Ratio From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The farebox recovery ratio of a passenger transportation system is the proportion of the amount of revenue generated through fares by its paying customers as a fraction of the cost of its total operating expenses. Most systems are not self-supporting, so advertising revenue and government subsidies are usually required to cover costs. The Hong Kong MTR Corporation is one of the few self-supporting transit systems in the world. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farebox recovery ratio

The American Public Transportation Association National Transit Farebox Recovery Ratios Database APTA National Transit Data website, 2009 APTA compiles transit data on many topics. The National Transit Database on the APTA website contains a chart of Farebox Recovery Ratios in Table 26 on the APTA website. Table 26 is sortable by agency size. http://www.apta.com/resources/statistics/Pages/NTDDataTables.aspx.

FTA New Starts Roundtable 2004 The New Starts Roundtables (NSR) were initiated in 1999 to facilitate communication, discussion, and information exchange among the various parties involved in the FTA’s New Starts Program. In particular, the roundtables aim is to involve representatives of FTA Headquarters, FTA Regional Offices, and sponsors of transit projects seeking New Starts Funding. . . . . Since fares typically cover only 25 to 30 percent of operating expenses, non-operating revenue is very important to the overall financial capacity of the system. http://www.fta.dot.gov/documents/nsroundtable02.pdf


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