(Center Identification Number: 350-07)
Transit agencies across the United States have been forced to become more creative in finding ways to decrease their costs or increase revenues from non-traditional sources as federal operating assistance has been reduced, revenues from local sales tax sources have decreased, and as local resistance to tax increases has grown. In the past, transit agencies have resorted to decreasing service or increasing fares as the primary way to deal with tight budgets. This report compiles the techniques that are being used at over 90 transit systems to increase revenues or reduce costs in ways that do not harm the best interests of their passengers. Over 90 transit agencies provided over 400 examples of how they have taken advantage of their unique assets, created new partnerships, cooperated with other public or private entities, redesigned their services, developed new marketing techniques, utilized technology, and re-engineered their processes to reduce their costs or increase their revenues. Over 220 original ideas are presented in summary form that will allow any transit manager to determine if they would like to emulate similar techniques at their transit agency. The savings or new earnings from these techniques might not cure every budget problem, but transit agencies can expect to find techniques that can either increase revenue or decrease costs by as much as 10 to 15 percent. The names of appropriate people to contact at the various transit agencies are also included in the report to encourage communication and the further exchange of ideas. Download the final report. For more information, contact Joel Volinski at firstname.lastname@example.org. For related research, download Conditions that Promote Creativity at Public Transit Agencies (392-06, National Urban Transit Institute).