Public Participation in Urban Transit Service

by Michael G. Ferreri, (M.ASCE), Exec. Vice Pres.; Simpson & Curtin, Transp. Engrs., Philadelphia, PA,

Serial Information: Transportation Engineering Journal of ASCE, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 4, Pg. 701-710

Document Type: Journal Paper


The trend in transit operations is toward public ownership and operation of services. The only questions are: when, how, and how much. The trend in public operations is to establish regional authorities or taxing districts with a provision of service to the urbanized area and to proportion taxes to the population served. Comparative statistics indicate that: (1) large transit systems have fleets of reasonable age regardless of ownership; (2) smaller systems show private systems having fleets over 15 yr of age, and public operations with average fleet ages under 7 yr; (3) private systems provide service more efficiently than public operations with number of passengers carried per vehicle mile at 3.32 for private systems compared with 2.91 for public operations; (4) the number of annual transit rides per capital is higher for private systems (40.1 vs. 34.2); (5) private systems have more employees per unit of service and per vehicle owned; and (6) private systems are more productive in terms of the number of passengers served.

Subject Headings: Public transportation | Private sector | Public participation | Urban areas | Transportation management | Passengers | Vehicles | Taxation

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