Title

Making public transport financially sustainable

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

2010

Subject Area

place - europe, place - north america, economics - capital costs, economics - revenue, economics - subsidy, organisation - contracting, ridership - mode choice

Keywords

Public transport; Germany; Sustainability; Efficiency; Productivity; Finance

Abstract

Over the past two decades, Germany has improved the quality of its public transport services and attracted more passengers while increasing productivity, reducing costs, and cutting subsidies. Public transport systems reduced their costs through organizational restructuring and outsourcing to newly founded subsidiaries; cutting employee benefits and freezing salaries; increasing work hours, using part-time employees, expanding job tasks, and encouraging retirement of older employees; cooperation with other agencies to share employees, vehicles, and facilities; cutting underutilized routes and services; and buying new vehicles with lower maintenance costs and greater passenger capacity per driver. Revenues were increased through fare hikes for single tickets while maintaining deep discounts for monthly, semester, and annual tickets; and raising passenger volumes by improved quality of service, and full regional coordination of timetables, fares, and services. Those efforts by public transport agencies were enhanced by the increasing costs and restrictions on car use in German cities. Although the financial performance of German public transport has greatly improved, there are concerns of inequitable burdens on labor, since many of the cost reduction measures involved reducing wages or benefits of workers.

Rights

Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.

Comments

Transport Policy Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/0967070X

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