A procedure for estimating transit subsidization requirements for developing countries

Douglas O. Osula


The paper presents a procedure that has been developed for estimating subsidization requirements for urban transit services in developing countries. The procedure is based on a subsidization policy of reducing transport expenditure burden on the average commuter, by maintaining his transport expenditure-income ratio at a reasonable level. It is designed for both regulated and deregulated transport markets. It requires, as input, historical data (previous year) on fare, productivity, and load factor for the transport service or mode concerned, the transport expenditure-income ratio distribution of the commuters, and the current level of commuter personal transport allowance. It is based on the premise that transport expenditure-income ratio is inversely related to income. The subsidization formula developed in the paper yields a level of subsidy that is commensurate with the level of control a government is able to exercise over transit operations.