Funding Urban Public Transport: Case Study Compendium

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - europe, place - north america, economics - finance


Case studies, Financing, Public transit


The case studies presented in this compendium reveal that there is no single financing model for cities, reflecting the great diversity of local situations and needs. It also appears that there is no silver bullet for the funding of public transport and that combining funding from different sources increases the resilience of the system. In the cities examined here, fares do not cover the cost of providing high quality public transport. In some cases, fares are regulated in order to allow lower income households to benefit from access to public transport. This leads to a system of compensation payments made by authorities to operators which may be vulnerable to changes in public finances over time. The shared view seems to be that public transport services provide value to the urban region as a whole and this is reflected in several operational and capital funding approaches. While none of the models presented here are universally applicable, many aspects of these models can be implemented in other regions and, crucially, in fast-growing medium sized cities. The cities included in the compendium are as follows: Beijing; Chicago; London; Madrid; Oslo; Paris; Portland, Oregon; Seoul; Shenzhen; and Tokyo.


Corporate authors: International Transport Forum