Friday, December 29, 2023

The 2022 farebox numbers

Agency	Fare Revenues per Total Operating Expense (Recovery Ratio)
Port Imperial Ferry Corporation, dba: NY Waterway	1.43
Hyannis Harbor Tours, Inc.	1.41
Bay State LLC, dba: Bay State Cruise Company	1.35
Trans-Bridge Lines, Inc.	1.33
Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority	1.31
Hampton Jitney, Inc.	1.2
Seldovia Village Tribe	1
Peter Pan Bus Lines	1
Golden Crescent Regional Planning Commission	1
Community Transit, Inc.	0.96
Chatham Area Transit Authority	0.93
Jalbert Leasing, Inc. , dba: C&J Bus Lines	0.92
A&C Bus Corporation & Montgomery & Westside Owners Association	0.83
Academy Lines, Inc.	0.78
SeaStreak, LLC	0.77
Chemehuevi Indian Tribe	0.75
Orange-Newark-Elizabeth, Inc.	0.71
University of California, Davis, dba: ASUCD-Unitrans	0.69
Chicago Water Taxi (Wendella)	0.67
Olympia Trails Bus Company, Inc.	0.66
Hudson Transit Lines, Inc.	0.63
Monsey New Square Trails Corporation	0.63

I remembered the National Transit Database a bit earlier this year, so here are the top hitters for 2022, and we can see the ridership recovery already. The four companies earning a profit from 2021 (Bay State, Trans-Bridge, Hampton Jitney and Hyannis Harbor) are joined by New York Waterway and the Chattanooga incline. Broadway Bus dropped from breaking even to earning just 23 cents on the dollar, and Peter Pan buses and the Seldovia Village Tribe ferries claimed to be breaking even. The Golden Crescent also claimed to be breaking even, but I think they're either lying or clueless or both.

It's not too surprising that the ferries did well in 2022: you can usually isolate from other riders on the upper deck. The New York Waterway ferries run every twenty minutes year round, charge $9 a ride and have gotten a lot of takers every time I've ridden them. They also load and unload passengers a lot more efficiently than the East River ferries operated by Hornblower.

Most of the Lincoln Tunnel buses are back over 50% farebox revenue, including Coachusa-owned Community Transit, Olympia Trails and ShortLine, so we'll see if they continue to improve. Red and Tan is only at 27%, which is probably why they still haven't brought back weekend service, but honestly I don't think they'll earn back those customers without losing money on the weekends for a few months.

Again, this just points to the foolishness of the Federal government and transit advocates. If the Feds had bailed out private transit companies the way they bailed out the airlines in 2020 and 2021, we'd be seeing a lot more people on the bus in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley.

The NTD now offers the ability to sort and filter in place, so you can sort and filter the data right in place, and even share a URL with your sorted and filtered data!

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Ten things to remember about public and private transportation


With a bunch of articles in the news recently about private intercity bus service, it's important to keep in mind several points:

  1. No transportation is completely private. Whether it's land, vehicles, fuel, air, research, wayfinding, public safety or search and rescue: you didn't build that.
  2. No transportation is completely public. Even in the strictest Communist states there have always been markets where people sell transportation without state control. In the United States, every government transportation agency buys goods and services from private vendors, and many contract their operations to private companies. Somebody, somewhere, is making a buck, and there's nothing you can do to stop it.
  3. Greedy, lazy people are everywhere. There's nothing about public ownership that guarantees good service.
  4. Most public transit used to be profitable. Most of the "public" transit systems around the world between 1850 and 1950 were built and operated by private companies, with large government subsidies. Some are still profitable today.
  5. Most roads and parking lots in the United States are socialist. And they're destroying the planet.
  6. Automakers and airlines are regularly bailed out by the government. Pundits and politicians only complain about bailouts and subsidies if they think they're going to the "wrong" people. Which ones they complain about usually tells you a lot about the pundits and politicians.
  7. It's all one big system. Whether publicly or privately owned or operated, public transit competes with publicly subsidized roads, airports, parking and personal cars.
  8. Private operators can take payment through larger fare systems. It takes a bit of planning, but it can be done.
  9. Transportation policy can't solve race, sex or class prejudice by itself. You may eradicate racism from buses, but as long as racism exists, racists will find a way to use transportation to oppress people.
  10. Trip cost is just one factor. For some people it's the biggest factor. For most, it comes after other criteria like trip time, safety, comfort and reliability.