Global Scan


Chicago

Chicago RTA logo

Greater Chicago Region:
Regional Transportation Authority

 


Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) System Map
Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: Six-county region with a population of 8 million

Created: 1974

Annual Ridership: 639.8 million unlinked trips (2010) – all service boards included

Mandate/Services: Commuter rail, rail rapid transit, bus, paratransit

Operators: The RTA is the financial and oversight body for the three legally independent transit agencies (Service Boards) in northeastern Illinois: the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Metra, and Pace

Funding & Financing

Regional Transportation Authority of Illinois Credit Rating: AA – issues bonds

  • The RTA draws on a combination of dedicated revenue tools and government support programs.
  • The RTA’s primary funding source is a dedicated sales tax, which constituted 63% of overall revenues in 2010.
  • The State of Illinois contributions come from the State’s general revenues through two programs: a Public Transportation Fund (accounting for 20% of the RTA’s 2010 revenues), and the Reduced Fare Reimbursement program (accounting for 2% of the RTA’s 2010 revenues).

2011 RTA Revenue By Source (Source: 2011 Annual Report)
Source: 2011 Annual Report

Key Facts

Board: Consists of sixteen members appointed by the Mayors of the region’s six counties (5 from Chicago, 4 from Cook County, 1 from each of the others); the 16th member must be elected by 12 of the 15 appointed members.

Financial Oversight: The RTA Act establishes the RTA as the primary public body with authority to apply for and receive grants, loans, and other funds from the state or the federal government. The RTA then allocates funds to the Service Boards, primarily to support operting expenditures. The Service Boards have independent Boards of Directors and make all budget decisions in response to performance standards outlined by the RTA, such as a requirement to achieve a 50% revenue-cost recovery ratio.

  • The RTA has been granted a variety of taxing powers it has yet to exercise, including a car rental tax, a motor fuel tax (if no sales tax has been imposed), an off-street parking tax, and a replacement vehicle tax on each vehicles replaced through insurance claims.
  • Predictable, dedicated, earmarked revenues help the RTA allocate funds between the local operators with a focus on long term planning. Operating budgets focus on a two-year outlook while capital budgets focus on five-year timeframes. Some revenues are dedicated for roads and cannot be specifically used for transit.

Revenue Tool Features

The RTA manages funding programs for the local Service Boards and has allocated dedicated revenues to planning studies, capital investments, and operating support across the region.

Current strategic priorities for the RTA, to be supported by dedicated revenues are:

  • Strategic Capital Investment: Reduce operating costs by identifying capital projects that reduce operating expenditures.
  • Economies of Scale: Identify coordinated purchasing efforts with the service boards and other government agencies that achieve cost savings and improve efficiency.
  • Maximize Use of System: Maximize the use of the existing system by better tapping travel markets that have potential to use transit and streamline coordinated services when and where the system is not functioning at capacity.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: Focus on targeted capital- and technology-related projects in a coordinated fashion to modernize and enhance the customer experience through improved service performance and customer connections.
  • Coordinated Government Affairs, Marketing and Outreach: Coordinate customer information and increase coordination and leveraging of partners and other stakeholders.

The RTA has been investing in programs aimed at coordinating increased ridership and efficiencies while reducing expenses across all Service Boards. Notable programs include:

  • Interagency Transit Passenger Information Design (ITPID) which coordinates passenger information at major transit hubs to facilitate seamless, easy travel between the CTA, Metra, and Pace systems.
  • Improved asset management systems and evaluation criteria for investing in maintenance and rehabilitation to optimize spending of scarce resources.
  • Initiation of a region-wide fare system for implementation by 2015.
  • Implementation of bus bypass lanes on the shoulders of the Interstate.

The three Service Boards have been utilizing funds received from the RTA on a variety of expansion and upgrading investments:

  • The CTA is currently modernizing existing rail lines, investing in extensions of three rail corridors, and building BRT infrastructure. 
  • Metra has been investing in rehabilitation of rolling stock, track & structure upgrades, signal modernization, maintenance facility upgrades, and parking & station improvements. 
  • Pace has received service expansion support.
 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

CTA: $2.25

Metra: $2.25 – $8.50

Pace: $1.75

Dependent on Service Board coverage area. 

Metra works within a zone system.

Cash, tickets, passes, online

Chicago Card: CTA & Pace

Full integration of fares in one system is not available

Rates set by individual Service Boards to meet 50% recovery cost requirement mandated by the RTA

RTA & Service Boards

Sales Tax

(in place for several decades – current rates set in 2008)

Cook County: 1.25%

Collar counties: 0.75%

County-specific

Point-of-sale

State collects & remits to RTA, with 1/3 of tax collected in collar counties returned to them directly to use for transportation or public safety purposes

RTA & Service Boards

The RTA keeps 11% and the Service Boards receive 89% of the total sales tax collected.  Of that each receives:

CTA: 38%

Metra: 31%

Pace: 20%

Congestion Relief Program

(2004)

Includes tolls for all vehicles ranging from $0.40 - $1 and a congestion pricing program for trucks ranging  from $1 - $4 depending on time of day

State of Illinois

I-pass & physical toll collection - Cash payments are charged at a higher rate to encourage adoption of electronic collection technology

Illinois State Highway Toll Authority (ISTHA)

Toll revenues are dedicated to road capacity and congestion improvements

Victoria

Public Transit Victoria

Victoria, Australia:
Public Transport Victoria

 


Metropolitan Melbourne Train Network Map
Metropolitan Melbourne Train Network Map

Overview

Mandate Area: State of Victoria, Australia – specifically metropolitan Melbourne and connecting regional services

Year Created: April 2012 (stemming from 2011 Transport Integration Act amendment: The Public Transport Development Authority Act)

Annual Ridership: Melbourne metropolitan system = 517.7 million unlinked trips / regional system = 29.5 million unlinked trips (2010-11)

Mandate/Services: PTV is responsible for safety regulation, sustainable funding, coordination of timetables between systems, long-term network & strategic planning, development of a new ticketing system, and advocacy for a better public transit system for all citizens in Victoria.

Operators: PTV contracts out operations across the state with Metro running Melbourne trains, Yarra Trams running the urban tram network, and V/Line operating regional rail and bus services. National Bus Company, Melbourne Bus Link, and SmartBus Orbitals provide urban bus services in Melbourne and the surrounding suburbs.

Key Facts

Board: Board consists of no less than three and no more than seven directors appointed by, and reporting to, the Minister of Transport.
Financial Oversight: PTV must submit annual budgets to the Minister of Transport. The Treasurer can approve special financial accommodation measures in order to address deficits that may arise, although management plans for budget deficits must be outlined to the Minister by PTV.

  • PTV has representation on the Victorian Road Based Public Transport Advisory Council (VRBPTAC), which advises VicRoads on how to facilitate more integrated on-road public transit. VicRoads was created through the same Transport Integration Act as PTV. 
  • The RTA has been designed with the Board reporting directly to the Minister of Transport. Current discussions around the formation of the entity often focus on this point as being a structural challenge that will make it difficult for the agency to effectively deliver on its mandate. 
  • Private operators have Customer Service Charters which outline performance standards that must be met in order to maintain the contract. Performance standards are focused on punctuality and reliability of service and passenger compensation is provided if standards are not met.
  • As part of their contracts, train and tram operators can earn the opportunity to obtain incentive payments for reducing disruption below agreed target levels and can incur penalty payments where disruption exceeds these targets.

Funding Sources

PTV credit rating: N/A – unable to issue debt

  • As PTV is a brand new entity, there are no annual financial reports available which describe revenue sources. As currently designed, the agency receives the majority of it’s funding from the State of Victoria and there is no current plan to change this formula in the immediate term.

Revenue Tool Features

Being a relatively new entity, PTV is still defining its mandate.  The only revenue tool in place beyond fares is a Parking Levy applied to parking spaces in central Melbourne.  This levy was put in place to manage parking demand in the CBD and not with the intention of raising revenues to pay for transportation infrastructure.  Payments are managed by the State Revenue Office (SRO) of Victoria and the SRO funds are part of the general state revenues.  While funds can be applied to transportation projects there is currently no dedicated earmarking of revenues for this purpose.

The RTA oversees public transport projects in planning and delivery. This includes network expansions, new station projects, rolling stock procurement, tram upgrades and regional bus service improvements.  The authority will also play a key role in overseeing planning for new rail lines to Rowville, Doncaster and Melbourne airports.

PTV is currently undertaking a significant number of rail studies, investing in station and track upgrades, removing level rail road crossings, upgrading the tram network to meet accessibility requirements, upgrading to low floor tram and bus vehicles, expanding bus services, and supporting the implementation of bus-only lanes and bus signal priority measures through the VicRoads capital program.  Detailed project profiles including study reports, project implementation status, and costs are all publicly available.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Two-zone urban system in Melbourne with fare-by-distance in place across the rest of the region.  Off-peak pricing also available for regional services.

PTV mandate area

Cash, tickets, passes, myki fare card

Private operators

RTA

Parking Levy

(2006)

Currently $650-910/year/parking space with moderate increases observed each year since implementation

Reduced rates are applied to spaces not considered to be providing long stay parking.  About 80% of spaces in the charge area are considered long stay parking.

Melbourne CBD

Payable by owners of private car parks and operators of public car parks in the CBD, applicable to non-residential, off-street, long stay and permanently leased parking spaces

Annual forms sent to owners & operators which provides details of usage

State Revenue Office (SRO)

SRO

Hong Kong

MTR_HongKongHong Kong:
Mass Transit Railway Corp Ltd (MTRCL)

 


Overview

MTR Metro System Map
MTR Metro System Map

Mandate Area: The system extends all the way from the heart of Central and Causeway Bay to the New Territories and Lantau Island with intercity service to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong.

Created: Publicly founded in 1979 and privatized in 2000 with the government maintaining a majority stake

Annual Ridership: 1.6085 billion trips (2010)

Mandate/Services: Subway (including an Airport service), light rail, bus, and intercity rail between Hong Kong and Mainland China

Operators: MTR Corporation Limited (MTRCL) operates the rail lines with Kowloon Motor Bus operating the bus lines as a private operator working under the MTR name.

Source: 2010 Annual Report
Hong Kong Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

MTR Corporation Limited credit rating: AA+ - issues bonds

  • The majority of revenues come from a combination of fares and property development activities.

Key Facts

Board: Thirteen members comprised of 12 business professionals and the CEO. Board members are appointed, at any time, by shareholders in a general meeting or by the Board upon the recommendation of the Nominations Committee. Board-appointed members must retire at the first Annual General Meeting after their appointment. Both elected and appointed members are eligible for re-appointment. The Government is the majority shareholder owning 76% of shares in the company. The Government also has the ability to appoint up to three directors without going through the standard Board appointment process.

Financial Oversight: MTR has been privatized. Shareholders receive annual dividends and the RTA operates a for-profit business model with the associated accountability measures commonly observed with other publicly traded companies such as share information, sustainability measures, and investor reports.

Revenue Tool Features 

MTR has made use of Land Value Capture since its inception as a major revenue source. The success of this enterprise depends on a combination of factors, including government ownership of all land in Hong Kong and the existence of extremely high densities due to natural features limiting outward sprawl. This density lends itself well to transit-oriented development. These factors may be fairly unique, however, given Hong Kong’s geography and government model, resulting in land development activities not as easily applied in other jurisdictions. Resulting revenues from these types of development arrangements may vary significantly between jurisdictions and over time.

Committed and future rail projects will see the network increased from 211.6km to over 270km by 2019 with other planned projects pushing expansion to over 300km if funds are realised.

Projects include:

  • West Island rail line
  • South Island rail lines
  • The Hong Kong section of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link
  • Installation of more platform screen doors and automatic platform gates
 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending
Authority

Fares

Adult single fare: $0.40 – $6.15

Mandate area is primarily fare by distance based on a zone system

Octopus Card, online, cash, tickets

Credit cards are only accepted for Airport tickets

RTA

RTA

Rail & Property (Land Value Capture)

All land in Hong Kong is owned by the government which is then leased to individuals and corporations, including MTR, over long periods.  The government does not hand over land to MTR for development, but charges the RTA the land cost estimated as if no rail were built.  This arrangement allows the RTA to capture any value increase from developments on such lands without having to pay a higher lease price that usually accompanies the anticipation of a new transit service.

MTR has a real estate division that enters into development projects, manages them, and owns them on these land holdings and around stations. Through these enterprises, MTR collects the higher rents and other revenues generating from these developments that are located around highly attractive transportation infrastructure.

Such an advantageous context is unique to MTR, compared to most RTAs in the world. RTAs usually have to rely on paying fair market price to lease / purchase lands and have to enter into partnerships with the private sector to develop projects on such lands to eventually be able to capture part of the value uplift to direct towards transit expansion expenditure.

RTA

RTA

Paris

Paris_RATPParis Île-de-France region :
Groupe Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens
(RATP)

 


Paris Metro & RER System Map
Paris Metro & RER System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: Most of the public transport in Paris and the surrounding Île-de-France region.
Created: 1948

Annual Ridership: 3.052 billion trips (2010)
Mandate/Services: metro, tram, bus, regional express rail (RER), Orly airport shuttle, Montmartre funicular (cable railway)

Operators: RATP directly operates 14 of 16 Paris Metro lines, two RER lines (the remainder is owned by national infrastructure manager, Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) and operated by Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF), a national operator), the Paris bus system (+300 lines), three of four tram lines, the Paris-Orly airport shuttle, and the Montmartre funicular. RATP also wholly or partially owns and operates over 40 subsidiaries within the Paris region, and the world, through their RATP Dev subsidiary.

Key Facts

Board: Governed by the "three thirds" rule: a third of its members must be from the elected members of the French State, a third must be staff members and the remaining third must be "qualified people". The Board currently has 29 members including elected officials, transportation operations & policy experts, and socioeconomic constituency representatives.

  • The STIF (Syndicat des Transports d’Île-de-France) is the transportation organising and planning authority for the Paris region and RATP operates within its contract framework. As of 2009, the public transit market is open to competition for all new services.
  • RATP owns the Île-de-France infrastructure it operates on and is responsible for managing the network to ensure proper maintenance and safety. Rolling stock is owned by STIF. This arrangement helps with operational oversight since all the authorities must work together to ensure track and vehicles are maintained at compatible levels.
  • By creating a wide range of business development units, RATP has identified the potential for revenue generation in a broad spectrum of areas including operating public transit in jurisdictions outside its Paris region mandate area (RATP has recently expanded to include operational divisions elsewhere in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas). Creating individual units to carry out specific functions allows these business subsidiaries to target a more focused mandate, which can lead to higher operational efficiency.

2010 Revenue Sources Source: 2010 Financial Report
Paris Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

RATP credit rating: AAA – issues bonds and notes

  • In 2010, RATP’s revenues came from two main sources: 40% from fares and 40% from an employer payroll tax.
  • Given the variety of subsidiary business types RATP operates within and outside of the Parios region, revenues can be classfied simply as either Transport, Transport-related, or Non-transport-related.

Revenue Tool Features 

The payroll tax has provided substantial funding for RATP capital and operating programs since inception.

Recent investments in the Paris metropolitan region include:

  • The Réseau Express Régional (RER), which integrates suburban commuter rail and underground city-rail, has improved connectivity both to and within the Paris region with 246 stops over 587km of track which officially came into being in 1977. The RER within the city functions like a metro express system with fewer stops. RATP directly manages 65 of the RER stops in the network.
  • Network upgrade and expansion work totalling almost €1.5B in 2011.
  • Pioneering automatic metros, with the Paris Line 14 opening as the first automatic metro in 1998. RATP is currently automating Line 1, the oldest line and working through proposals to automate 130 km of metro lines in the region.

RATP is also continually working to collaborate with STIF and SNCF (the second largest urban rail operator in the region) to develop improved passenger information systems and operating tools which can be shared between the operators to enhance the traveller experience.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending
Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

Paris: €1.70

RER: €1.70 - €11

Zone 1 includes all local bus, metro and tram services as well as local RER travel.

Zone 2 RATP services include RER lines outside of the City of Paris.

Cash, tickets, passes, online

RTA

RTA

Versement Transport - Tax on Salaries or Employer Payroll Tax

(1971)

2.6% in Paris and the neighbouring Hauts-de-Seine suburb/county

1.7% in two low-income neighbourhoods

1.4% in four neighbourhoods on the edge of the region

County-specific

Rates are applied in relation to how well-developed the transit options are for people working within each region as well as to serve as a social equalizer by encouraging investment in transit in less developed areas.

Rates only apply to companies with more than nine employees.

Corporate account payments to the French government

Levied and collected by the French government and remitted to the RTA and other STIF companies

RTA

 

Land Value Capture

A portion of a 96 mile, €20 billion Grand Paris network expansion, currently under development

Special development districts identified around each station, whose own existence is only possible thanks to the creation of the transit line.

Legislation & negotiation

RTA

RTA

London

Transport For LondonGreater London Metropolitan Region:
Transport for London

 


TfL Rail System Map
TfL Rail System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: Greater London, spanning 6 counties

Created: 2000

Annual Ridership: 2,900 million trips (2010)

Mandate/Services: underground (tube), overground, light rail, local and long distance buses, trams, river services, strategic streets, cycling, private vehicle hires

Operators: TfL owns three main subsidiary companies which operate and manage different components of the network (underground, overground, etc) as well as other transportation-related assets. Buses are privately operated but are under contract to TfL and must adhere with TfL standards. Transport Trading Limited is one of the main subsidiaries with 15 operating arms underneath it.

 

Funding & Financing

TfL credit rating: AA+ - issues bonds
In 2010-11, majority of TfL revenues came from fares (82%) and the congestion charge (8%).

Key Facts

Board: Sixteen members appointed by the Mayor of London, who also acts as Chair.

Source: 2011 Annual Report
London Revenue Breakdown

  • TfL receives a firm three-year, post-spending review commitment from the government. Each year the spending commitments are reviewed and aligned with the next three-year outlook. This represents a unique settlement among UK local authorities and provides both greater clarity in terms of strategic planning and a more robust, almost corporate, approach to the way TfL conducts its budgeting process. Firm commitments provide funding confidence and support long-term planning activities.
  • Contracting out services to various operators is the main mechanism for service delivery model. Developing specific subsidiary business units has created a structure that results in TfL maintaining control over spending and revenue generating decisions, while working with contractors to ensure service and maintenance standards are met and travellers enjoy a seamless travel experience.
  • Fare pricing depends on whether travel is peak or off-peak. Discounts are provided to those using the automated Oyster Card. TfL recommends rates but the ultimate decision on pricing is made by the Mayor.

     

Revenue Tool Design Features 

TfL has been investing heavily in rail expansion and tube upgrades in recent years. Dedicated fare and non-far revenues support capital expansion and operating support for all services.

  • The Overground services along with Crossrail implementation provide new access routes cutting through London. 
  • Tube line modernization is improving signal reliability, station capacity, and vehicle capacity across the system. 
  • New higher-capacity double decker buses have begun to roll out on select routes. 
  • The East London Transit modern bus service provides fast, frequent, and reliable journeys with links to the broader transportation network through a network of dedicated bus rapid transit infrastructure
  • Cycling & pedestrian programs have come more into focus for investment in recent years with enhancements to improve safety for these groups front and centre in new policies.
 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

Tube, DRL, Overground: £1.90 – £19

Bus, Tram: £1.30 – £4

National Rail: £1.30 – £6.90

Pricing dependent on where within zones 1-9 of travel

Cash, tickets, passes, online, Oyster Card

 

RTA and contracted operators

RTA

Congestion Charge

(2003)

£10/day provides 24 hour access for a specific vehicle

 

Drivers pay through pre-registration auto-pay, in advance online, by text message or phone, at a shop, or by post.  Gantries & license plate recognition are in place for enforcement.

IBM manages operations and charging systems and remits to RTA

RTA

Local Improvement Tax

(concept has existed since 2003)

Variable

Applied to property or business located within a pre-defined perimeter based on that fact it will benefit from the new transit development

Collected within the tax system

Local government remits to RTA

RTA to spend on specific projects

Montreal

Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT)Agence Métropolitaine de Transport (AMT)

 

 


AMT Commuter Rail System Map
AMT Commuter Rail System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: Greater Montreal Region, encompassing 83 municipalities, one native reserve, and 12 regional county municipalities, home to 3.8 million residents (2011)

Created: 1996 (AMT); was established through a restructuring of Société de transport de Montréal (STM)’s mandate and turning over of some of STM’s services to AMT
Annual Ridership: 452 million trips (2010)
Mandate/Services: commuter rail, express bus, HOV lanes, light rail services (currently under study)

Operators: AMT operates its own lines, providing connecting services to local transit authorities’ lines (partly funded by AMT)

 

Source: AMT 2010 Financial Report and 2011 Budget
Montreal Fiscal Year Revenues

Funding & Financing

AMT credit rating: N/A

SMT credit rating: A+ - issues bonds

In 2010, 70% of revenues came from four sources; integrated fares (25%), commuter rail fares (14%), a fuel tax (15%), and a vehicle registration tax (16%).

In 2007, the municipalities in the Montreal region agreed to cost share the metro’s (subway) operating and capital deficit. This agreement helped form the guiding principles for a new metropolitan transit financial framework that was tabled in 2010.

Key Facts

Board: Seven members including the Chairperson, three members from the community who are appointed by the province, and three members who are appointed by the Montreal Metropolitan Community, usually from one each from Montreal and Longueil, and one from another suburb. (The Montreal Metropolitan Community is a planning, coordinating, and funding body serving 82 municipalities in the Greater Montreal Region.)

  • The Montreal has successfully implemented revenue tools within smaller zones of a regional mandate area to help pay for transit infrastructure. Société de transport de Montréal (STM), within the City of Montreal, collects dedicated revenues separate from those collected within the larger AMT mandate area.

Revenue Tool Features 

Direct dedicated revenues to AMT allows the RTA to efficiently arrange and manage operating subsidies with the relevant local transit authorities. Subsidies are determined based on each operator’s number of routes that interface with the regional network, as well as the frequency of these local services. Such performance-based funding formulas allow the RTA and local operators to work towards identifying relatively predictable subsidy levels.
Dedicated revenues have supported AMT expansion since 1996.

Projects of note include:

  • 3 new commuter rail lines
  • 21 commuter rail stations
  • Over 45 km of new BRT reserved lanes
  • 28 park & ride lots to improve system access
  • Construction of modern maintenance rail facilities

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult commuter rail or tram ride: $4 - $9.75 dependant on zone

Zones 1 – 7 cover the full mandate area

Cash, tickets, passes

RTA (Fares are regionally integrated and the RTA also sets fares for local operators)

RTA

Gas Tax

$0.03/L (increased in 2011 from $0.015 - providing an additional $50M/year)

Mandate area

At the pump

Province collects & remits to RTA

RTA spends on operating

Vehicle Registration Tax

$45 tax charged within the City of Montreal, in addition to a $30 fee charged in the region, both dedicated to transit

City of Montreal ($45+$30) and region ($30)

During license plate renewal

Province collects & remits to RTA

RTA spends on operating

Property Tax

1 cent / $100 of property assessment

Mandate area

Part of the property tax payment system – Cheque, money order, online,  financial institutions

Municipalities collect & remit to RTA – a portion of the fund is dedicated to transit

RTA spends on capital

New York

NYC MTAGreater New York Metropolitan Region :
NYC Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)

 


NYC MTA Subway Map
NYC MTA Subway Map

Overview

Mandate Area: All five boroughs of New York City and the suburban counties of Dutchess, Nassau, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester

Created: 1965 as Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Authority, 1968 as MTA

Annual Ridership: 2.6 billion trips (2010)

Mandate/Services: subway, bus, two of three commuter rail services (Amtrak runs the other), bridges & tunnels

Operators: MTA operates many subsidiaries including three rail providers, five bus operators, New York City Transit, MTA Bridges and Tunnels, and MTA Capital Construction.

Key Facts

Board: Seventeen member board, appointed by the Governor of New York. Four voting members are recommended by the NYC mayor and three voting members by the largest three counties, although they are not always appointed. Four members are recommended from the smaller northern counties and cast one collective vote. Six rotating, nonvoting seats are held by organized labour and the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee. All members are confirmed by the state Senate.

  • The Office of the Inspector General for the MTA was established by the State in 1983 to provide independent oversight of the operations of the MTA and all subsidiary agencies.
  • While the MTA has relative flexibility to implement new taxes, the majority of funding tools came out of explicit amendments to state legislation.

MTA revenues, Source:2009Transport Politic
NYC MTA Revenues

Funding & Financing

NYC MTA credit rating: A & AA – bond issue linked to transportation revenue & dedicated tax fund

  • NYC MTA funding comes from a wide variety of sources, including support from local, state, and federal government bodies.
  • Diversified revenue streams help ensure stability of revenue streams during economic fluctuations.

Revenue Tool Features

NYC MTA has had access to dedicated revenues for several decades, and the vast majority of funding comes from stable sources that are less affected by economic cycles. In recent years, Mortgage Recording Tax revenues have varied greatly following the 2008 real estate market crash.

The Payroll Mobility Tax was reduced in size and scope in 2011 in tandem with the removal of the State’s ‘Lockbox Bill,’ legislation requiring the creation of a ‘diversion impact statement’ that recorded the impact of reducing dedicated funds to the transit authority.

The agency continues to use funds to expand its extensive transit network with capital investments including:

  • The 2nd Avenue Subway
  • 7 Line subway extension
  • Rebuilding of the Fulton Street Station to improve interline access
  • Expanding the Long Island Railroad commuter service into a new East Side station below the Grand Central Terminal

The MTA has also partnered with the NYC Department of Transportation in recent years to implement extensive BRT infrastructure and service.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending
Authority

Fares

Single adult one-way fare: $2.50

Express bus one-way fare: $5.50

RTA mandate area

Tickets, passes, MetroCard smart card

 

All operators collect & remit to RTA

RTA

Petroleum & Transportation Industries Tax

4.0 – 17.8 cents/gallon depending on fuel and vehicle type

State of New York

Levied on any company that produces, refines, or imports petroleum for used in the State of New York

Collected through the state Metropolitan Mass Transportation Operating Assistance program & remitted to the RTA

RTA

Sales Tax

1/4%

 

New York Metro Region

Point of sale

Collected through the state Metropolitan Mass Transportation Operating Assistance program & remitted to the RTA

RTA

Bridge & Tunnel Tolls

Rates vary by facility and vehicle type.  This is the largest bridge & tunnel operator in the US, collecting ~$900M annually.

Seven intrastate toll bridges & two tunnels

EZ pass

Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority collects & remits to the RTA

RTA

Corporate Tax Surcharge – Metropolitan Commuter Transportation Mobility Tax

17% surcharge calculated based on the 9% New York corporate franchise tax rate in effect in 1997

New York Metro Region

State tax collection

Collected through the state Metropolitan Mass Transportation Operating Assistance program & remitted to the RTA

RTA

Payroll Mobility Tax

0.11 – 0.34% of the payroll expense for the quarter based on quarterly return

New York Metro Region

PrompTax state electronic filing and funds transfer program

State of New York collects & remits to RTA

RTA

Mortgage Recording Tax

$0.30 charged on every $100 of the mortgage dedicated to transit

Metropolitan Commuter Transportation District

State tax collection

State of New York collects & remits to RTA

RTA

 

New Jersey

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Logo

Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (PANYNJ)

 


PATH Rail System Map
PATH Rail System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: The bi-state Port District is a 3,900 square kilometre region within approximately 40 kilometres of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour

Created: 1921 through an inter-state compact

Annual Ridership: 76.6 million trips on the PATH commuter transit network (2011)

Mandate/Services: Responsible for improvement, development, operations, and maintenance of significant regional transportation infrastructure within the Port District including five airports, seven bridges & tunnels, seven port terminals, the Port Authority Bus Terminal, and the Port-Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) commuter rail system. PANYNJ also owns 45 million square feet of office, industrial, retail and technical space within its real estate portfolio, including One World Trade Centre.

Operators: PANYNJ directly manages all airport, bus, and bridge & tunnel operations. Access and operational agreements are in place with private air and bus carriers who use the RTA’s facilities. The PATH system is run as a subsidiary company of the Port Authority.

Key Facts

Board: Consists of 12 Commissioners where six each are appointed by the Governor of each State. Members serve, as unpaid public servants, for overlapping six-year terms. State Governors retain the right to veto the actions of Board Commissioners from their respective states.

  • PANYNJ makes use of an extensive real estate portfolio to generate revenues to support capital investment and operations of its other business units.
  • PANYNJ is a fully financially self-sustaining entity and dedicated revenues implemented and collected by the RTA provide financial backing for the authority to raise debt. The body does not receive tax revenue from the states of New York or New Jersey and does not have its own taxation powers.

2010 Gross Operating Revenue Sources
NYNJ_2010 Gross Operating Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

PANYNJ credit rating: AA- issues bonds and commercial paper notes

  • The Port Authority is able to issue debt for capital expenditures and must rely on its own, highly rated, credit score. No state or municipal backing of debt issue is available. PANYNJ relies entirely on sustainable revenue streams dedicated from facility operations such as bridge and tunnel tolls, airport and bus terminal user fees, rail transit fares, and rental income to provide sufficient assets against which bonds can be issued.
  • While PANYNJ does not rely on government transfers to augment capital and operating expenses, the RTA has received some federal funding for capital projects. For example, grants received from the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act are being put towards rehabilitation and widening of some airport runways.

Revenue Tool Features:

PANYNJ has had access to dedicated revenue streams since inception. 

The current 10-year capital plan includes $15B (of $25B) for state-of-good repair, mandatory capital expansion, and system enhancement projects addressing much of the authority’s aging infrastructure. Of these areas of investment, state-of-good repair investments have dominated the capital plan in recent years.

Even with budget constraints there have still been significant renovations and new services introduced:

  • EZ-Pass installation on New York and New Jersey toll facilities
  • Port Authority sponsored passenger ferry service linking the Hoboken transit hub with Lower Manhattan, adding momentum to a revival of privately operated ferry services
  • Substantial renovations at the Port Newark-Elizabeth containerport and at terminals at each of the three airports
  • New rail transit connections to the Northeast Corridor line in New Jersey to Newark Airport and from Jamaica Station in New York to JFK Airport

 Fare, fee, and toll increases are planned over the next 10-years to address the growing gap between revenues generated and capital requirements.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending
Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride (PATH):

$2.00 (increasing to $2.25 in October 2012)

Connections between New Jersey & Manhattan

Tickets, passes, SmartLink & MetroCard smart cards

RTA

RTA

Bridge & Tunnel Tolls

Variable rates depending on which bridge or tunnel, time of day, vehicle type & class, and method of payment

$3.50 - $78 per crossing

George Washington Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, Holland Tunnel, Bayonne Bridge, Goethals Bridge, Outerbridge Crossing

All crossings connect between New Jersey and either Staten Island or Manhattan

Cash, EZ-pass (pass users receive significantly discounted rates)

RTA

RTA

Passenger Facility Charge

$4.50 per flight (current legislation change to the Federal Aviation Administration to increase to $7 is being reviewed by the House and Senate)

JFK International Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Stewart International Airport, Teterboro Airport

Within the airline ticket purchase system

Private airlines collect & remit to RTA

RTA

Washington, D.C.

Washington DC Metro Logo

District of Columbia (Washington DC):
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA / Metro)

 


WMATA MetroRail System Map
WMATA MetroRail System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: The District of Columbia and parts of northern Virginia and Maryland, covering 1500 square miles

Created: 1967

Annual Ridership: 343.3 million trips (2010)

Mandate/Services: Commuter rail, bus, heavy rail rapid transit

Operators: MetroRail & MetroBus run services in DC proper and local agencies provide services on the periphery

Key Facts

Board: Comprised of eight voting and eight alternate (non-voting) directors, with Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, and the federal government appointing two voting and two alternate directors each.

Financial Oversight: The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) supervises and conducts independent and objective audits, investigations, and reviews of programs and operations to promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness, as well as to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse in programs and operations. The Inspector General provides advice to the Board of Directors and General Manager to assist in achieving the highest levels of program and operational performance.

  • Success of joint development partnerships depends on the correct forecasting of the demand for the transportation facility as well as the stability of the real estate market. Joint development can be pursued through requiring financial contributions from those benefiting directly from the transportation investment, in WMATA’s case, the landowners whose property values would increase, instead of through tax mechanisms that apply to everyone. This scheme helps address the equity issues often associated with tax mechanisms, such as disproportionate payments by those who do not have access to adequate transit options.

Source: 2010 Annual Financial Report
WashingtonDC Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

WMATA credit rating: A – issues bonds

  • The District of Columbia, functionally a state, pays its subsidy contributions, towards WMATA’s expenses, from the District general budget. 
  • The State of Maryland pays its share of WMATA subsidies from state transportation funds.
  • In Virginia, local governments pay most of the costs of subsidies. According to the Northen Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC), the state government currently pays 28% of Virginia’s WMATA funding. Some additional funding comes from dedicated taxes, such as an addtional gas tax, which is charged in Northern Virginia jurisdictions and collected by the state, but dedicated to transit in Northern Virginia. The remainder of the subsidy is paid out of general revenues by the individual jurisdictions (currently the Counties of Arlington and Fairfax and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax and Falls Church).

Revenue Tool Features 

WMATA has no truly dedicated revenue source under its control. All significant funding, other than fares, comes from federal, state or local government subsidies. The State of Virginia dedicates a portion of the gas tax to WMATA. As the RTA operates across three states, it is more complex to implement dedicated taxes as these are often collected at the state level and consensus by all states is seen as necessary for putting new tools in place.

Since WMATA’s inception, the federal government has contributed 65% of the authority’s required capital costs.

In June 2010, the Metro Board approved a $5B, six-year capital spending program focused on safety and maintaining state of good repair including replacing, upgrading, or rehabilitating old or outdated vehicles, facilities, track, and customer amenities. $1B spent in the first year is the largest single year expenditure since the construction of the original MetroRail system.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

MetroRail: $1.95 –  $5 with 20 cent additional fare added during the peak of the peak (weekdays 7:30-9:30 & 4:30-6)

Fare by distance uses the same general rate structure across the system

Cash, tickets, passes, online

SmarTrip Card provides a discount over cash fares

RTA

RTA

Gas Tax

(25+ years)

2.1% sales tax on top of regular excise taxes

North Virginia regional tax

Point of sale

State of North Virginia collects & remits to NVTC for payment to WMATA

Only for qualifying
capital and operating
costs of
North Virginia
transit projects

Land Value Capture – Joint Development

(1990s)

An estimated $150M has been generated through joint development projects by 2003

Makes use of “benefit assessment districts”  - land owners within 200 feet of a new infill station will pay contributions over 25 years to retire the bonds used to build the station

Aggressive purchase of land near planned transit stations in order to ensure development of transit-supportive projects

RTA

 

RTA

Georgia

Atlanta_GRTAAtlanta Region:
Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA)

 


Overview

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Rail Map
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Rail Map

Mandate Area: Thirteen metro Atlanta counties, with the main Atlanta MARTA system as the backbone

Created: 1999

Annual Ridership: 138.4 million trips (MARTA only - 2006)

Mandate/Services: Heavy rail rapid transit, bus

Operators: Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) serves DeKalb and Fulton Counties and the City of Atlanta. Cobb Community Transit (CCT) and Gwinnett County Transit (GCT) provide express & local bus service with various connections to MARTA and Downtown Atlanta. GRTA Xpress runs various commuter express routes.

Key Facts:

Board: Governor-appointed 15-member body

Committees & Advisory Bodies: The Regional Transit Committee was established as a policy committee of the Atlanta Regional Commission in January 2010, to focus on issues of regional transit planning, funding and governance with proposed model legislation recognizing MARTA as the backbone of the system, while embracing all local systems under one regional governance structure.

Financial Oversight: The Georgia General Assembly has a standing Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Oversight Committee (MARTOC). This committee is charged with financial oversight of MARTA. MARTOC has introduced a bill in the past that would place MARTA under GRTA, and permanently remove the requirement that MARTA split its sales tax revenue expenditures 50/50 between capital and operations, but currently spending restrictions still apply.

Discussions are currently being held on the governance model of GRTA. Guiding principles in this discussion include:

  • Unified Decision-Making – the region needs a single entity that will be able to plan, finance, build, own, operate and maintain (or contract for) cross-jurisdictional transit infrastructure and service.
  • Voting Structure – in order for an entity to have voting rights in the decision-making process in the region’s transit governance structure, that entity must contribute financially to the operation of the region’s transit system.
  • Proportional Representation – in addition to being required to contribute to the operational expenses of the region’s transit systems, in order to vote at the regional level the weight of an entity’s vote should be proportional to the value of its contribution to the system.

Revenue Tool Features

The GRTA has relied on sales tax revenues as one of its primary revenue sources for several decades. The GRTA focuses resources on providing regionally-oriented insight into various transportation plans around the greater Atlanta area. The agency primarily plays a coordination role with most capital and operating responsibilities falling directly on the local transit providers operating in the region.

 GRTA responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing and approving of all Developments of Regional Impact, where the GRTA evaluates proposed developments effects on the surrounding transportation infrastructure to make sure current and future adverse impacts on mobility are mitigated using transportation and land use best practices with a goal of addressing congestion and mobility impacts in the early stages of development. 
  • Monitoring the performance of the region’s existing transportation system and evaluating plans throughout the state to ensure alignment with state-wide transportation goals. The GRTA also tracks execution of plans and measures the performance of the resulting system enhancements.
  • Approving the federally-mandated Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for the Atlanta region to ensure alignment with the state’s strategic transportation goals and objectives.

With the recent referendum rejecting the special transportation tax in 9/12 regions in Georgia, and denying $18B in revenues over 10-years to the authority, the future capital and operating plans for the Atlanta area are uncertain. Only some of the smaller counties will have this sales tax revenue for capital projects and operating support.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Each local operator manages own fares

Single adult one-way fare: $2.50

Free transfer agreements between operators in existence

RTA mandate area

Cash, passes, online top up of Breeze smart card

Local operators

Local operators

Gas Tax

$0.075/gallon on fuel plus a 4% sales tax

State of Georgia

Point of sale

State

Revenue is dedicated to roads and bridges and cannot be used for public transportation

Sales Tax

1%

Taxes are approved for set periods and extensions must be voted on by municipalities within the mandate area. Extensions have been approved 4 times in the history of MARTA.

Currently only 3 of 12 counties in the region approved the most recent sales tax in a referendum on July 31, 2012: Augusta, Columbus, and south-central Georgia counties.  Metro Atlanta rejected the tax for the first time in decades.

Point of sale

State

The sales tax is written into the MARTA legislation.

Legislation requires the tax to be split evenly between operating and capital regardless of the current needs of the agency.

Road Pricing

Typical toll prices are dynamic and range from $0.60 to $6.00 depending on congestion. It is estimated that over 90 percent of customers will pay less than $5.00 for their trip, including 25 percent of customers who will not pay any toll.

I-85 pilot program (2008)

Peach Pass pre-paid card with online balance top ups

Implemented by the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and the State Road & Tollway Authority (SRTA)

GRTA and a number of other federal, regional and local transportation partners are participating in the pilot

Toronto

Logos_GTHAGreater Toronto and Hamilton Region:
Metrolinx

 


GO Transit Rail & Bus System Map
GO Transit Rail & Bus System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: The Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area – spanning 30 municipalities, home to 6.5 million residents
Created: 2006

Annual Ridership: 62 million trips (GO Transit, 2012); 620 million trips (10 GTHA area transit operators; 2009)

Mandate/Services: commuter rail, bus, light rail (under construction)

Operators: GO Transit, which interfaces with local transit operators across the region. Metrolinx also has two other operational divisions:

  • The Air Rail Link, which is in charge of the delivery of the rapid transit line between Union Station and Pearson International Airport. 
  • PRESTO, which is in charge of expansion and operation of the PRESTO fare card.

Key Facts

Board: Consists of fifteen members appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council as recommended by the Minister of Transportation. The Metrolinx CEO also sits on the Board and the senior management team participates in all meetings. Elected officials are currently prohibited from serving.

  • Metrolinx uses private sector partnerships to finance projects and transfer construction risk away from the transit authority. The Whitby East GO Rail Maintenance Facility and other transit expansion projects jointly developed with municipalities and the private sector show leadership in this regard.

Metrolinx Operation Revenue (excluding contributions for capital expenditure)
Source: 2011 Annual Report

GHTA Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

Metrolinx credit rating: N/A – unable to issue debt

  • The primary funding source for Metrolinx has been government contributions, mainly from the Provincial government complemented by some contributions from municipalities and the federal government.
  • Fare revenues and non-fare revenues (the latter amounting to $14.6 million in 2011 from such sources as rental of commercial space, trackage fees, and advertising) are another funding source largely used for operational cost recovery.

Revenue Tool Features

Since its inception, Metrolinx is limited to funding its capital and operational costs through government contributions, fares, and revenues from non-fare enterprises. Unlike most other international RTAs, there are no revenue tools dedicated directly to funding transit expansion and the services that Metrolinx is mandated to deliver.

Metrolinx is currently building $16B in capital projects across GTHA municipalities; one of the largest transit expansions in Canadian history.

 Projects completed or underway include:

  • PRESTO fare card implementation across the region
  • Eglinton Crosstown LRT
  • Sheppard LRT
  • Finch LRT
  • Scarborough LRT
  • Airport Rail Link
  • York Viva BRT rapidways
  • Spadina subway extension
  • 403 BRT Transitway
  • GO transit expansion of rail and bus services across the network
  • Track and signal systems upgrades for both GO Transit and the TTC
  • Purchase of new buses for municipalities across the region to support expanded local services
  • Support for new subway cars in Toronto
  • Bike racks on buses and secure parking facilities in every part of the region

Various studies are underway examining other priority projects in the Big Move regional transportation plan such as rapid transit corridors, mobility hubs, goods movement solutions, and active transportation solutions.

No funding is currently committed for Big Move projects beyond the scope of this first wave of investment.

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride: $4.20 - $33.05

GTHA zonal fares

POP Ticketing, PRESTO

Metrolinx

Metrolinx

San Francisco

Sanfrancisco MT Logo

San Francisco Region:
Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)

 


Existing & Future Rail System Map
Existing & Future Rail System Map

Key Facts

Board: A nineteen member policy board. Fourteen appointed directly by local elected officials (five of the largest counties have two representatives). Two members are appointed to represent regional agencies (The Association of Bay Area Governments and the Bay Conservation & Development Commission). Three non-voting members appointed to represent federal and state transportation agencies and the federal housing department.

  • State and federal laws have provided increasing autonomy for MTC to determine local project eligibility and prioritization for regional state and federal grants based on compatibility with the regional transportation plan. 
  • High-level budget allocations are determined by the RTA with local spending decisions then made in the individual counties with a focus on local priorities. Regionally-signficant infrastructure is maintained and operated by the RTA to ensure effective management of cross-boundary assets with seamless access for all travellers.
  • The Bay Area Partnership is a body of the senior staff of various transportation agencies in the region (MTC, public transit operators, county congestion management agencies, city and county public works departments, ports, Caltrans, U.S. Department of Transportation) as well as environmental protection agencies. The Partnership works by consensus to improve the overall efficiency and operation of the Bay Area's transportation network, including developing strategies for financing transportation improvements. The Partnership is primarily a forum for communication with no formal authority over any specific body. Chairmanship of the meetings passes from agency to agency and all members are given equal standing within the body.

 

 

 Source: 2010 Annual Report

SanFrancisco Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

Bay Area Toll Authority credit rating: AA – issues bonds

  • Majority of funding for MTC comes from federal, state, and local government sources.

Revenue Tool Features

Referendum approved funding measures are all directed to specific programs. For example, a toll collected consists of several components which are directed to the appropriate programs. A base toll covers ongoing operations, maintenance and administration of toll facilities and bridges, transit improvements, and to fund debt service on Regional Measure 1 (1988) project financing. Regional Measure 2 revenues fund projects in the Measure 2 (2004) bundle. Seismic surcharge revenues are directed to the retrofit program underway to strengthen and reinforce bridge and roadway structures.

Along with sales taxes and other government programs, the agency has expanded service, begun a 290-mile expansion of express toll lanes across the network, and begun construction on the showcase intermodal TransBay terminal which will bring together bus and rail, and link in to the new California high-speed rail network.

Linked to the economic downturn, sales tax revenues have been on the decline since 2009.

SF MTC has directly accessed toll revenues since the 1990s. BATA is able to debt finance through issuing bonds backed by dedicated revenues. The federal government reimburses BATA for 35% of the interest costs on taxable bonds. Revenue tools are dedicated to specific projects with all spending tracked and reported publicly and transparently.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult ride: typically fare by distance

Rates set by individual operators

Mandate area

Clipper fare card

RTA & local operators

RTA & local operators

Sales Tax

Voter-approved measures in individual counties vary but are typically around one half cent

Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties

Point of sale

Typically the local congestion management agency (CMA) serves as the local sales tax authority administering the tax with portions remitted to the RTA

Local counties maintain revenues for themselves and the RTA only decides allocations on the portions remitted to it

Bridge Tolls

(BATA operating under MTC since 1998)

Fixed rates ranging from $2.50 –  $6 depending on time of day and which bridge, with reduced rate tolling for carpools

Tolls generally include a $1 base, $1 Regional Measure, and a $2 – 3  seismic retrofit surcharge

Seven state-owned bridges

FasTrak, cash, often with a discount for FasTrak users

BATA collects tolls and operates FasTrak – operations and maintenance of the toll collection system on state-owned bridges was transferred to BATA from Caltrans in 2005

MTC allocates funds, BATA issues bonds and submits updates to legislature

Road Tolls (HOT / Express Lanes)

Dynamic pricing based on congestion levels (between 5am-8pm) for solo drivers; carpools always travel free

14 miles of I-680 with a 500 mile network planned for the next 20 years

FasTrak

BATA collects tolls and operates FasTrak

MTC allocates funds, BATA issues bonds and submits updates to legislature

Los Angeles

LA_Metro

Los Angeles County: Metro

 

 


Metro Rail and Transitway System Map
Metro Rail and Transitway System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: LA County including 88 cities and 9.6 million people, with most services in Los Angeles City

Created: 1993, as a result of the merger of the Southern California Rapid Transit District (created in 1964) and the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (created in 1977)

Annual Ridership: 45.1 million rail trips (2009)

Mandate/Services: commuter rail (metrolink), subway (metro rail), lightrail, bus rapid transit, local bus – partial funding for local roads, highway improvements, goods movement, bikeways, pedestrian facilities, HOV lanes

Operators: Metro operates most services and maintains several transitways used by Metro Bus along with some local operators. Partial funding is provided for 16 local operators within the mandate area

Sector Governance Council mandate areas
Sector Governance Council mandate areas

Key Facts

Board: Thirteen members including five LA County Supervisors, the Mayor of LA, three LA mayor-appointees including at least one Council member, four Council members representing the other 87 county cities appointed by the LA County City Selection Committee, and one member appointed by the Governor of California (traditionally the Director of the California Department of Transportation, Caltrans).

Elected Governing Body: Five Sector Governance Councils exist to manage local bus operations within their geographical area. Members of each Council are selected by a combination of city councils, councils of governments, and county supervisors in the area, with most appointees being local politicians. A minimum of two regular “transit consumers”, which could be riders or transit executives for agencies within the sector, also sit on each Council. Private sector appointees are chosen in some cases but this varies by Governance Council. All Sector appointees must be approved by the Metro Board. Governance Councils approve service changes (although Metro has ultimate decision-making authority), review budgets, and address service complaints. This decentralized structure has allowed for faster response to service change requests, and provides an opportunity for riders to speak directly with sector representatives on local matters. Such a distributive governance model, that integrates regional vision and planning with local operations, encourages involvement from municipalities and elected councilors in transportation which enables a higher level of responsiveness to local needs.

 Committees & Advisory Bodies:

  • Community-based Service Councils work with the Governance Councils and offer opportunities for greater community involvement by facilitating a forum for local residents to provide direct input into services in their communities.
  • Advisory Committees, consisting of transportation experts and citizens, help evaluate plans and provide advice to policy-makers on accessibility, customer service, audit, capital & operations, local transit, streets & freeways, transportation demand management, and air quality.

2011 Revenue Sources
Source: 2011 Financial Report

LA Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

LA County MTA credit rating: AA+ - issues bonds

  • LA County Metro raises significant funds by issuing debt backed by dedicated tool revenues approved through the State referendum process. Dedicated sales taxes have been put in place for a fixed period of time and must be spent on the specific projects outlined in the referendum question.
  • The RTA also draws on revenue-generating enterprises as well as government contributions to fully fund its expenditure requirements.

 

 

 

Revenue Tool Features 

Sales taxes are one of the most popular ways to generate revenue in LA County and have funded Metro capital expansion plans since the 1980s. All sales taxes are dedicated to specific projects and are in place for specific periods of time. Each new sales tax is approved by voters through regular ballot initiatives.

Since the 1980s sales taxes have funded the following improvements:

  • Prop A funded the Metro Blue, Red, and Green lines. 
  • Prop C supported and expanded on Prop A investments, installed 296 carpool lane miles, and forming the Metro Freeway Service Patrol which assists stranded motorists (and relieves accident-related congestion). 
  • Measure R will generate $40B over 30 years and support implementation of critical highway and transit projects across the region including the Metro Gold Line Foothill extension, Exposition Rail Corridor Phase 2, Orange Line extension. Westside Subway extension, West Santa Ana Transit Corridor, Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor, Regional Connector Transit Corridor, Eastside Transit Corridor Phase 2, East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor, Green Line LAX extension, South Bay Metro Green Line extension, and the Sepulveda Pass Transit Corridor, as well as over 14 separate highway improvement projects.
La County is also using federal government funding for the Metro ExpressLanes pilot program which introduces congestion pricing by converting HOV lanes to HOT lanes on the I-10 and I-110 Freeways

The Metro Board authorized placing Measure J on the November 2012 ballot initiative. This measure will extend the existing Measure R half-cent sales tax from 2039 to 2069. These additional funds will allow Metro to accelerate construction of transportation improvements. The measure also allows transit and highway funding priorities to be shifted between projects within LA County if approved by a two-thirds vote of the Metro Board.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

$1.50 – $2.45 plus $0.70 for each additional zone (up to 2 zones) and/or $0.35 when transferring between Metro and local transit

Rider relief subsidies are provided for households within low-income brackets 

Pricing dependent on zone of travel

Cash, tickets, and passes

RTA

RTA

Sales Tax

Prop A – ½ cent (1980)

Prop C – ½ cent (1990)

Measure R – ½ cent (2008)

RTA mandate area

Point of sale

State collects & remits to the RTA

A portion is returned to individual counties and the rest to the RTA

Metro ExpressLanes (HOT pilot)

Dynamic pricing based on congestion levels with a target of keeping traffic speed at 45mph

 

Ranging $0.25-1.40 per mile

25 miles of high-occupancy vehicle lanes converted to high occupancy toll lanes

FasTrak electronic collection

State collects & remits to the RTA

Revenues will be used to directly fund improvements on the road ways

Portland

Portland Trimet

Portland Metropolitan Region:
TriMet

 


TriMet Rail System Map
TriMet Rail System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: The district serves portions of the counties of Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas; it extends from Troutdale to Forest Grove east to west, and from Sauvie Island to Oregon City and Estacada north to south.

Created: 1969

Annual Ridership: Over 100 million trips (2011)

Mandate/Services: Lightrail, commuter rail, bus, streetcar

Operators: TriMet operates buses, rail and the streetcar network.  The streetcar vehicles are owned by the city and are managed by a separate non-profit that reports to the city’s Bureau of Transportation

Key Facts

Board: TriMet’s Board of Directors consists of seven directors, appointed by the Governor of Oregon. Each director shall reside in the subdistrict from which s/he is nominated and appointed.

Elected Governing Body: Metro, an elected regional government, is in charge of long-range transportation planning for TriMet. Metro also has statutory authority to take over the day-to-day operations of TriMet, but has never exercised this power.

2011 Revenue Sources
Source: 2011 Annual Report

Portland Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

TriMet credit rating: AAA - issues bonds

  • TriMet relies on a range of revenue sources from government contributions, own-source fares and other non-fare revenues, as well as dedicated revenue tools.
  • The State has granted TriMet the power to tax and issue bonds which provides the RTA with sufficient flexibility in designing funding policies that are responsive to the needs of the organization, without requiring additional approval from the legislature. Some time limits are placed on each tax, such as the payroll tax, which ensures the RTA needs to demonstrate accountability in order to receive extentions of powers by the government in the future.

Revenue Tool Features

TriMet has primarily relied on a payroll tax for funding since the 1970s. Heavy reliance on the payroll tax means the revenue source is tied closely to the economy, so when unemployment increases, revenues decrease.

This revenue source has significantly funded:

  • The development of a light rail system (MAX) beginning in 1982 and continuing to expand through the 1990s to today including the Green, Yellow, Red, and Blue lines.
  • The Washington County Commuter Rail (WES) project which opened in 2009. 
  • Portland also developed a frequent grid bus network over 30 years ago which has encouraged significant ridership growth compared to similarly-sized American cities.
 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult  ride:

$2.10 – $2.40 (2-zone vs All-zone)

TriMet operates a three zone system with a free ride zone in the downtown core

Cash, tickets, passes, online

RTA

RTA

Gas Tax

Small amount of federal funds are transferred. No funds come from the state level

State of Oregon

Point of sale

Federal government collects & remits to RTA

RTA

 

Payroll and Self-Employment Tax

0.7018% as of January 1, 2012.

The 2003 Oregon Legislature provided TriMet with the authority to increase the rate over 10 years.  The rate increases annually by 1/100 of a percent.

Businesses located within the TriMet district boundary

Collected within the payroll system

State collects & remits to RTA

RTA

Tax Increment Financing & Local Property Tax

Variable

Project specific – rates are only applied in areas directly related to transit projects

Collected within the tax system

Local government remits to RTA

RTA

Vancouver

Vancouver Trans Link

Greater Vancouver Region:
Metropolitan Area Transit Authority TransLink

 


Frequent Transit Network System Map
(includes all routes with a minimum of 15 minute headways)

Frequent Transit Network System Map

Overview

Mandate Area: Greater Vancouver metropolitan region – spanning 21 municipalities, one unincorporated area, and the Tsawwassen First Nation, home to 2.3 million residents (2011)

Created: 1999

Annual Ridership: 232 million trips (2011)

Mandate/Services: commuter rail, light rail rapid transit, express & local buses, ferries, regional roads/bridges, cycling

Operators: Delivers service through contractors and wholly-owned operating companies including : Coast Mountain Bus Company, BC Rapid Transit Company, and West Coast Express

 

 

Source: 2011 Annual Report
Vancouver Revenue Sources

Funding & Financing

TransLink Credit Rating: AA – issues bonds

  • TransLink uses a variety of funding sources, including provincial and local government contributions and a number of revenue tools dedicated to TransLink (fuel tax, property tax, and parking sales tax).
  • In 2010 (see the chart), 77% of revenues came from three sources: fares (32%), fuel tax (24%), and property tax (21%).

Key Facts

Elected Governing Body: Mayors’ Council represents the elected oversight body for Translink. It consists of the mayors of the 21 municipalities under Translink’s jurisdiction.

Board: Comprised of nine members appointed by the Mayors’ Council.

Committees & Advisory Boards: The Mayors’ Council appoints a Regional Transportation Commissioner to assist with advising the Board on strategic & regional plans. The Commissioner rules on applications for fare & tax increases, approves customer satisfaction surveys & resolutions on customer complaints, and provides formal opinions to the Mayors’ Council on capital and operating plans.

  • TransLink has relative legislative autonomy to raise revenues and more efficiently make strategic decisions regarding capital and operating spending. The Transport Operations (TransLink Transit Authority) Act [2008] grants the RTA authority to implement the range of revenue tools listed below. 
  • A relatively predictable revenue stream generated by dedicated revenues enables the agency to develop long-term plans, such as the fully-funded three-year and 10-year project delivery programs. 
  • TransLink partners with the private sector, using various P3 arrangements, to finance and transfer construction and operating risk away from the RTA. A P3 delivery model was used to build the The Canada Line SkyTrain extension (connecting downtown Vancouver with the airport and Richmond) and the bidder is now in an agreement to operate and maintain the line.

Revenue Tool Features

TransLink has had access to a wide range of dedicated revenue tools since its inception. Since 1998, TransLink has embarked on an extensive expansion program including construction of the Millennium & Canada SkyTrain Lines, and service improvements and expansion on express and local bus routes.

Most recent accomplishments since 2011 include:

  • Realising a 6.6% increase in bus ridership (2010 – 2011) by reallocating 170,000 hours of service to make the system more efficient and productive
  • Launching TravelSmart, a program that provides education, awareness, and incentives to encourage people to try transportation options other than single occupancy driving
  • Creating the OnTrack online communication system to better share information with customers
  • Testing the NextBus tool which provides mobile, real time information about the bus network to improve how people can access system information
  • Beginning construction on the new Evergreen SkyTrain line in 2012
  • Initiating capital improvements to accommodate the new Compass smart fare card in 2013
  • Expanding the bus (1,500 vehicles), SkyTrain (94 vehicles), and SeaBus (1 additional ferry) fleet over the last ten years

TransLink has recently had to re-examine its revenue structure. Trends towards more fuel efficient vehicles combined with the recession and fewer vehicle kilometres driven in the region, has led to a need to assess the long term sustainability of the gas tax as a revenue source. The Mayors’ Council has been advising against raising the property tax rate further.

 

Tool

Rate

Geography

Technology

Collection Authority

Spending Authority

Fares

Single adult ride: $2.50 - $5

Rates set by the Commissioner

Zones 1 – 3 cover the full mandate area

Cash, tickets, passes

RTA

RTA

Gas Tax

$0.17/L

Mandate area

At the pump

Province collects & remits to RTA

RTA

Parking Sales Tax

21% applied to parking rate charged to consumer, before HST

Mandate area

Parking operators pay TransLink by cheque, money order, or through financial institutions

RTA – Board appointed Administrator.  TransLink has the authority to conduct audits to ensure compliance

RTA

Bridge Toll

Variable pricing based on vehicle type

Golden Ears Bridge

Electronic transponders, license plate recognition

Golden Crossing Parnership operates under contract to TransLink

RTA

Property Tax

Multiple the assessed value by:

0.35 per every $1000 of property value [residential owners]

1.6086 per every $1000 of property value [commercial owners]

Mandate area

Part of the property tax payment system – Cheque, money order, financial institutions

Municipalities collect & remit to RTA

RTA

Power Levy

$0.0624/day

Mandate area

Hydro bill

BC Hydro collects & remits to RTA

RTA