Lessons learned in transit efficiencies, revenue generation, and cost reductions - Second Edition


Joel Volinski

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - marketing/promotion, economics - revenue


Cooperation, Cost control, Financing, Marketing, Partnerships, Revenues, Technological innovations, Transit operating agencies


Transit agencies across the United States have been forced to become more creative in finding ways to decrease their costs or increase revenues from non-traditional sources as federal operating assistance has been reduced, revenues from local sales tax sources have decreased, and local resistance to tax increases has grown. In the past, transit agencies have resorted to decreasing service or increasing fares as the primary way to deal with tight budgets. This report compiles the techniques that are being used at over 90 transit systems to increase revenues or reduce costs in ways that do not harm the best interests of their passengers. Over 90 transit agencies provided over 400 examples of how they have taken advantage of their unique assets, created new partnerships, cooperated with other public or private entities, redesigned their services, developed new marketing techniques, utilized technology, and reengineered their processes to reduce their costs or increase their revenues. Over 220 unduplicated ideas are presented in summary form that will allow any transit manager to determine if they would like to emulate similar techniques at their transit agency. The savings or new earnings from these techniques might not cure every budget problem, but transit agencies can expect to find techniques that can either increase revenue or decrease costs by as much as 10 to 15%. The names of appropriate people to contact at the various transit agencies are also included in the report to encourage communication and the further exchange of ideas.