Transit agencies around the globe are confronting intractable budget dilemmas, from the San Francisco Bay Area’s BART – which relies on fares for almost three quarters of its operating budget – to local transit operators in France, which rely more heavily on payroll taxes. No matter whether they get the bulk of their operating funds from the fare box or through local and state taxes, mass transit systems across the Western world are facing serious shortfalls, writes Jake Blumgart over at CityMetric.
As ridership and revenue streams plummet, the question now becomes whether governments will heed calls for unprecedented infusions of cash to maintain public transportation during the crisis. And after the pandemic wanes, whether they can be convinced to continue funding beleaguered systems that will surely need help to return to normal levels of service.
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