Published in Access Magazine, Volume 26, Spring April 1, 2005, pages 22-27.
Publisher website: http://www.uctc.net
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author Cornelius K. Nuworsoo was affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, May 2008, he is Assistant Professor of Transportation Planning in the Department of City and Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo, CA.
Public transit operators in the United States have long known that fare hikes do not increase total revenues. Although while fare reductions might boost ridership, they can also reduce total revenues and thus increase reliance on subsidies. Transit operators trying to balance their budgets need new strategies that can produce more revenue than costs. Some transit agencies have tried selling steeply discounted unlimited-ride transit passes to groups, such as students at a university or employees at a large company. Such deep-discount group-pass programs are paid for either by participants though payroll deductions or school fees, by an employer or school, or by some combination or both. Most existing programs are either employer-based or campus-based. A few neighborhood-based passes are issued through neighborhood associations. Programs typically include: (a) universal coverage of members of an identified group, (b) unlimited rides by group members within a specified period, and (c) deep discounts of from forty to ninety percent of regular pass prices. Some programs also include guaranteed rides home.
Urban, Community and Regional Planning