Title

FINANCIAL REALITIES : COST TRENDS AND PRODUCTIVITY

Authors

R KINNEAR

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1988

Subject Area

place - urban

Keywords

Urban transit, Labor productivity, Costs, Australia

Abstract

The financial position of public transport operators in Australia, as in the rest of the world, has been changing rapidly. This has been the result of several factors: operating costs per kilometre of service have risen in real terms; revenues per kilometre of service fell steadily during the 1970s; and the number of passengers carried per kilometre of service has been falling. This decline has been offset in recent years in a number of cities by rising real fare levels. More services, with costs per unit of service growing more rapidly than revenues, mean increasing deficits. A number of initiatives to contain costs are currently being considered and in a number of cases acted upon. This paper includes a broad assessment of the relative impacts that each of these initiatives might have. It concludes that managers and planners need to be aware of the trends which, in the absence of change, would shape the financial picture in the future. Average performance is unlikely to be good enough in the future.