U.S. Transit Subsidy Policy: In Need of Reform

Science  30 Jun 1989:
Vol. 244, Issue 4912, pp. 1545-1549
DOI: 10.1126/science.244.4912.1545


Public transit in the United States has depended increasingly on public subsidies since the inception ofthe federal mass transit assistance program in the early 1960s. The subsidies are associated with declining efficiency and labor productivity, as urban transit systems have overcapitalized, simplified fare structures, and extended service into sparse suburban markets. Despite these subsidies, transit has not proved successful in countering the effects on its market of increased automobile ownership and use and of decentralizaton of residences and places of employment.