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Bertie --

First, $18 billion is the congestion relief benefit from daily transit operation, not including capital spending. For a true apples-to-apples comparison, the spending on transit is $37 billion (the figure for operating expenses), not $54 billion (the figure for total expenses).

The federal and state contribution to operational expenditures was about $12.5 billion. So this means drivers see a benefit of (12.5/37)*18 = $6 billion in congestion relief for $12.5 billion spent.

But there is more.

Thirty percent ($11.5 billion) of the total operational transit spending comes from fares, so using your formula, transit users paid $11.5 billion for every (11.5/37)*18 = $5.5 billion in congestion relief. Since the $18 billion figure represents relief only to drivers (the relief to transit users is not factored into the methodology of the study), this $5.5 billion is considered congestion relief for drivers. That is a total relief of (6.5+5.5) = $11.5 billion for every $12.5 billion spent, or a 92% return for drivers.

by Scoot on Sep 7, 2011 5:28 pm • linkreport

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