Wednesday, June 11, 2008

According to Citilink's website, public buses ferried 1,935,587 riders in 2006. That is a rough average of 6300 riders per day. It cost $4 per passenger in government subsidies per rider. For one person to ride the bus one way in 2006, it cost taxpayers the price of a 2008 gallon of gas.

For the cost of Citilink's total operating budget, we could simply buy everyone who rides the bus on a daily basis their own used car. That's not a feasible solution though, since many people who ride the bus do so because they cannot legally drive. But we still need to come up with a more cost effective way of getting these people to work. Here are some ideas that I have:
1. Let the free market decide. Citilink will still continue its profitable routes, while private "jitney" cabs handle the rest. Fares would increase somewhat, but service would improve.
2. Often, buses will run their routes with only a handful of passengers. Sometimes a bus will go its entire route without picking up a single rider. This is a huge waste. Citilink could save on fuel costs by running lower demand routes less often.
3. Citilink could share buses and drivers with FWCS. The pooling of resources would save on fuel.

4 comments:

J Q Taxpayer said...

Robert,

At one time FWCS and Citilink had a deal. Citilink did pick up students but because of the law and the lack of being yellow, stop arms and so forth it was stopped.

San Fran has one of the most advanced transit systems between buses and BART system. Yet it costs like six bucks per passanger.

I think Citilink is one messed up operation with them still hanging on to past ideas that no longer work.

The problem in part is federal law that requires them to purchase the big buses that are not needed on many routes.

If we got smaller (which would be cheaper) buses we could offer more routes to places people go. Hence ridership would increase and cost per mile would go down.

Robert Enders said...

That federal law needs to be changed then. It's an election year, so let's make it an issue.

Party Bus Brisbane said...

I would say a rationalization of bus routes is in order to maximise efficiency whilst reigning in costs.

Mike Kole said...

I'd say raise the fares. Why should those who do not ride pay for those who do? Why shouldn't the people who ride pay their own way?

If the fare needs to be four bucks, so be it. At least make the enterprise break even.