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4/1/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

APTA poll: Fare hikes, service cuts and layoffs part of public transportation landscape


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The results from a recent American Public Transportation Association (APTA) survey aren’t surprising. Public transportation providers are hiking fares, cutting service and furloughing workers because of declining state and local revenue. On average, seven out of ten public transit systems have projected budget shortfalls in their next fiscal year.
 
Since Jan. 1, 2009, 84 percent of public transit systems have increased fares, reduced service or considered either of those actions, according to the survey of 151 APTA members, which serve more than 80 percent of the nation's transit riders. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents said they already hiked fares or cut service, such as by reducing rush-hour or off-peak service, or shrinking geographic coverage.

In addition, 68 percent of the respondents have eliminated positions or are considering whether to do so and about half have furloughed employees or are considering layoffs. Slightly more than half have transferred funds from capital uses to operations.

“The results of this survey are grim,” said APTA President William Millar in a prepared statement. “As bad as things are today, more drastic service cuts, fare increases, layoffs, and deferred capital projects will occur if this problem is not addressed. Now is the time for federal, state and local governments to invest in public transportation to help support and create jobs, and maintain service to the public.”


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