The top farebox earner, as last year, is the Chattanooga inclined plane, and it earned even more this year, almost a million dollars, for a farebox recovery ratio of 214.9%. This is a silly thing to count as a transit system, since it costs $14 per person, and the directions webpage only gives driving directions. The Pittsburgh inclines, which are well-connected to the bus and light rail networks, earned $110,000 for a ratio of 119.1%.
The two largest New Jersey ferry systems, Port Imperial and BillyBey, which both do business as New York Waterway, earned six million and almost a million dollars last year, respectively, for recovery ratios of 130% and 114%. One newcomer to the 70%-plus club was the University of Georgia, but that's just because the University pays for 98% of operating costs. I'm kind of baffled by the Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDF), serving the area around Florence, South Carolina. They claim to get 71% of their funding from fares, yet operating expenses were $16 per unlinked passenger trip, but fares were only $1.50. It seems like they must have gotten some big contract, but I don't see what it is. It's not a university town like Athens.
The other big story is the Stagecoach Group. This multinational transit firm from Perth, Scotland controls Coachusa, the company that owns the seven Lincoln Tunnel bus lines highlighted in blue in the table below. Some of their lines are profitable: Trans-Hudson Express, better known as Red and Tan in Hudson County, cost only $1.42 per trip to operate on average, and charges $1.45 for local routes and $4 for the New York-bound Route 99S. Orange-Newark-Elizabeth and Community Transit have also run an operating surplus for the past three years. The others bring them down, though, particularly Suburban Transit and Short Line. In 2007 their operations required a $7 million subsidy, in 2008 it was $11 million, and in 2009 it was back down to $5.6 million. I don't know how they keep those afloat, or if there will be some changes in the future.
|Name||Fare Revenues per Total Operating Expense (Recovery Ratio)|
|Trans-Bridge Lines, Inc.||128.8|
|Orange-Newark-Elizabeth, Inc. (Coach USA)||125.8|
|Community Transit, Inc. (Community Transit)||101.3|
|New Jersey Transit Corporation-45 (NJTC-45)||101.3|
|Hudson Transit Lines, Inc. (Short Line)||96.0|
|Martz Group, National Coach Works of Virginia (NCW)||88.5|
|Rockland Coaches, Inc.||84.0|
|Academy Lines, Inc.||83.6|
|Monroe Bus Corporation||80.5|
|DeCamp Bus Lines||79.2|
|Suburban Transit Corporation (Coach USA)||79.2|
|Lakeland Bus Lines, Inc.||77.5|
|Monsey New Square Trails Corporation||77.3|
|Adirondack Transit Lines, Inc. (Adirondack Trailways)||77.1|
|Olympia Trails Bus Company, Inc. (Coach USA)||74.4|
|Pee Dee Regional Transportation Authority (PDRTA)||71.8|