Farebox Recovery Ratio

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The farebox recovery ratio of a transit system is the percentage of total operating expenses that are made up by passenger fares. The figure is calculated by dividing total passenger-fare revenue by total operating expenses. Farebox-recovery ratio is a key metric used to judge the financial health of transit systems, and varies heavily based on geography, fare structure, and ridership patterns.

Because farebox recovery ratio deals with operating expenses alone rather than total (capital + operating) expenses, the following types of transit systems tend to have higher overall farebox-recovery ratios:

  • Rail-Based (particularly commuter or high-capacity rail)
  • Distance or Zone-Based Fares
  • Asian and European systems

Few major transit systems throughout the world have a farebox-recovery ratio of 100%. Within California, BART has the highest farebox-recovery ratio, and a variety of state laws use this metric to evaluate transit-system performance. For example, in order to qualify for funding under the state Transportation Development Act (TDA), urban transit agencies must maintain a farebox ratio of 20% and rural agencies must maintain a ratio of 10%. Exceptions are sometimes made for new routes or routes that serve disadvantaged populations. In the United States, California ranks seventh for farebox-recovery ratio, at 27.9% (behind New Jersey, New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Massachusetts). (Baselines 174-5). Within California, the Bay Area has the highest farebox-recovery ratio (60.9% within the MTC MPO area), while the Los Angeles area has among the lowest (21.4%).


Wikipedia Table of Farebox Ratios of Major Transit Systems around the world

Source:Wikipedia

Ratio of fares to operating costs for public transport systems (%)
Continent Country System Ratio Fare system Fare rate Year
Asia Hong Kong Hong Kong MTR 123.68%[1] Distance based HK$3.5+ (cash)

HK$3.5+ (Octopus card)

2016
Asia Japan Osaka (Hankyu Railway) 123% Distance based ¥150+ 1991[2]
Asia Japan Osaka (OMTB) 137% Distance based ¥200+ 1991[2]
Asia Japan JR East 84.39%[3] Distance based 2016
Asia Japan Tokyo Metro 119.05%[4] Distance based ¥160+ 2016
Asia Japan Tokyo Toei rail services 73.82%[5] Distance based 2015
Asia Taiwan Taipei Metro 100.14%[6] Distance based NT$20+ (cash)

NT$16+ (EasyCard or other cards)

2015
Asia Taiwan Kaohsiung MRT 83.16%[7] Distance based NT$20+ (cash)

NT$17+ (iPASS or other cards)

2015
Asia Singapore Singapore (SMRT) 100.76% Distance based SGD 1.10+ (cash)

SGD 0.77+ (EZ-Link Card)

2017[8]
Asia China Beijing Subway 59.5%Template:Citation needed Distance based CNY 3.00+ 2012[9]
Europe Netherlands Amsterdam (GVB) 86.5% Distance based 2016[10]
Europe Netherlands Rotterdam (RET) 80.2% Distance based 2016[11]
Europe Germany Berlin 70.3% Zone based EUR 2.60+ 2010[12]
Europe Belgium Brussels 35.2% 2007[13]
Europe Denmark Copenhagen 52% Zone based 1991[14]
Europe UK London Underground 107.25% Zone based 2016[15]
Europe Spain Metropolitan lines of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya (FGC) 93.18% Zone based 2014[16]
Europe Spain Madrid 41.3% 2007[13]
Europe Italy Milan 28% 1991[14]
Europe Germany Munich 42% Zone based 1991[14]
Europe Czech Republic Prague (DPP) 53.2% Flat rate CZK 24+ 2013[17]
Europe France Paris (STIF) 29.7% Zone based for passes
Distance based for tickets
€1.80 2014[18]
Europe Sweden Stockholm 37% Zone based SEK 44–88 (conductor)
SEK 25–50 (SL Access card)
Note: Tickets are not sold on buses.
2007[13]
Europe Italy Rome 36% 2007[13]
Europe Austria Vienna 50% Flat rate EUR 2.00 1991[14]
Europe Finland Helsinki 49%[19] Zone based; each borough forms a zone. Boroughs with a small area are treated as being part of one of their neighbouring boroughs. EUR 2.80–7.00 (cash)
EUR 1.90–5.60 (travel card)
Transfer free of charge
2011
Europe Switzerland Zurich 60% Zone based CHF 4.30+ 2014[14]
North America USA Amtrak 71% Distance & demand based 2009[20]
North America Canada VIA Rail 50.9% Distance & demand based 2016[21]
North America USA Atlanta (MARTA) 24.7% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America USA Austin (CMTA) 12.3% Flat rate Template:CurrencyTemplate:Currency, depending on modality 2015[23]
North America Canada Brampton (BT) 46% Flat rate C$3.25 (cash)

C$2.65 (Presto Card)

2012[24]
North America USA Boston (MBTA) 30.4% Flat rate Template:Currency (cash) / Template:Currency (CharlieCard) 2016/17[25]
North America Canada Calgary 50% Flat rate C$3.00 2012[26]
North America USA Chicago (CTA) 55.2% Flat rate Template:Currency (cash and Ventra) 2016[27]
North America USA Chicago (Metra) 42.9% Zone based Template:Currency+ 2015[22]
North America USA Cleveland (GCRTA) 20% Flat rate Template:Currency 2014[28]
North America USA Dallas (DART) 15.3% Flat rate Template:Currency 2016[29]
North America USA Detroit (DDOT) 15.2% Flat rate Template:Currency 2014[30]
North America Canada Edmonton (ETS) 39.4% Flat rate C$3.00 2007[31]
North America USA Harrisburg, PA (CAT) 17.1% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America USA Las Vegas Monorail 100% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[32]
North America USA Long Island (MTA) 50.0% Zone based Template:Currency+ 2012[33]
North America USA Los Angeles (LACMTA) 25.5% Flat rate Template:Currency, with discounts for seniors, disabled, students 2015[34]
North America USA Maryland 23.1% Variable Template:CurrencyTemplate:Currency, depending on distance & modality 2012[33]
North America USA Miami 23% 2015[22]
North America USA Minneapolis – St. Paul 25.2% Flat rate with rush hour and express surcharges Template:Currency to Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America Canada Mississauga (MiWay) 46% Flat rate C$3.25 2011[35]
North America Canada Montreal (STM) 45.9% Flat rate C$3.25 2016[36]
North America USA New York City MTA 37.75%[37] Flat rate Template:Currency 2016
North America USA New York City (NYC Ferry) 29.41% Flat Rate Template:Currency 2017[38]
North America USA New York/Connecticut (MTA) 36.2% Distance based Template:Currency+ 2009 Q1[39]
North America USA New York/New Jersey (PATH) 41.0% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[40]
North America USA New Jersey (NJT) 44% Distance based Template:Currency 2014[41]
North America USA Orlando (Lynx) 25.0% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America Canada Ottawa (OC Transpo) 45% Flat rate C$3.65 (Cash)

C$3.30 (Tickets) C$3.00 (Presto Card)

2014[42]
North America USA Philadelphia (SEPTA) 39.5% Flat rate Template:Currency (cash) / Template:Currency (Token) / Template:Currency (Transfer) 2015[22]
North America USA Pierce County, WA 29.6% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America USA Philadelphia/New Jersey (PATCO) 49.4% Distance based Template:Currency+ 2015[22]
North America USA Portland Metro Area (TriMet) 31.5% Flat rate Template:Currency 2012[43]2015[22]
North America USA Greater Seattle Area (King County Metro) 30.1% Zone and peak based Template:Currency+[44] 2016[45]
North America USA Puget Sound Region (Sound Transit) 41.5% Zone & distance based Template:Currency+ (Bus)[46]

Template:Currency+ (Light Rail)[46]

Template:Currency+ (Commuter Rail)[46]

2017[47]
North America Canada Quebec City (RTC) 39% Flat rate C$3.00 2011[35]
North America USA San Antonio (VIA) 12.8% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[22]
North America USA San Diego MTS 40.6% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[32]
North America USA San Francisco Bay Area (BART) 80.0% Distance based Template:Currency+ 2015[32]
North America USA Oakland Airport Connector 96% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015/2016[48]
North America USA San Francisco Bay Area (Caltrain) 63% Zone based Template:Currency+ 2015[49]
North America USA San Francisco Bay Area (SFMTA) 35% Flat rate Template:Currency 2016[50]
North America USA Santa Clara County (VTA) 10% Express surcharges Template:Currency to Template:Currency 2016[51]
North America USA Southern California Regional Rail Authority 41.8% Distance based Template:Currency to Template:Currency 2017[52]
North America USA Staten Island (MTA) 15.2% Flat rate Template:Currency 2015[40]
North America Canada Toronto (TTC) 69.9% Flat rate C$3.00 (tokens/electronic fare card) $3.25 (cash) Jan 2017[53] 2016[54]
North America Canada Toronto, Hamilton and area (GO Transit) 76.6% Distance based C$5.30+ 2015/16[55]
North America Canada Vancouver TransLink 55%[56] Zone based C$2.50+ 2016
North America USA Washington, DC (WMATA) 45.4% Distance and time based Template:Currency+ 2015[22]
North America Canada Winnipeg 60% Flat rate C$2.50 2011[35]
Oceania New Zealand Auckland 44% Zone Based 2012/13[57]
Oceania Australia Canberra 21% Flat rate A$4.20 2007[58]
Oceania Australia Sydney 20% Distance based A$0.15 / km 2014[59]
Oceania Australia Melbourne 30% Zone and time based From A$3.76 / hour / zone 2014[60]
Oceania New Zealand Christchurch 35% Zone Based 2012/13[57]
Oceania New Zealand Dunedin 54% Zone Based 2012/13[57]
Oceania New Zealand Hamilton 34% Flat rate 2012/13[57]
Oceania New Zealand Wellington 57% Zone Based 2012/13[57]

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