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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 aren't 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.
Need for Government Subsidy
There are several practical reasons for government subsidies of public transit. By subsidizing mass transit, it encourages ridership and subsequently lowers traffic congestion. Another benefit is lowering pollution from single occupant vehicles that are no longer on the roads. The third benefit is reducing infrastructure costs needed to build and maintain more street, highway, and freeway lanes associated with increased traffic congestion. These factors considered together also contribute to a better quality of life as defined by global quality of living measurements.
Farebox ratios around the world
The following table lists farebox ratios for some public transportation systems around the world.
|Osaka (Hankyu Railway)||123%||1991|
|Teito RTA (now Tokyo Metro)||170%||1991|
|Bay Area (BART)||56%||2005|
|Los Angeles (LACMTA)||30.6%||2004|
|Massachusetts Bay (MBTA)||43.7%||2002|
|New York City subway||67.3%||2002|
|New York/New Jersey (PATH)||41.0%||2002|
|Philadelphia/New Jersey (PATCO)||61.4%||2002|
|Staten Island Railway||15.2%||2002|
|Toronto Subway and RT||68%||1991|
|Washington, DC (WMATA)||61.6%||2002|
- http://www.mercerhr.com/summary.jhtml?idContent=1173370>Mercer Human Resources Consulting QOL Reports c2005
- http://www.bart.gov/docs/AR2005.txt BART 2005 Annual Report
- http://www.mta.net/about_us/finance/pdf/sandp2004.htm Standard & Poors Credit Rating 2004