The sun metro chart we posted the other day covers up a real problem.
The chart shows that 13,766,000 passengers rode the buses in fiscal year 2017.
It also shows the cost per trip at $3.41.
Most of sun metro’s funding comes from sales taxes. They get one half of a percent of a taxable sale which they projected to come to $ 43,824,530 for fiscal year 2017. In 2017 they also expected to get $3,100,000 from riders.
The city’s 2018 budget states that the 2017 sun metro total budget was $69,846,055.
Predictably they expected to spend every penny that they got.
So with 13,766,000 passengers and $69,846,055 in spending the cost per trip really is $5.07 not $3.41.
They will probably try to tell us that the $3.41 is the incremental cost of each trip, the other money is used to pay the out of town firm that runs sun metro and to pay for offices and other things.
At the end of the day though the cost per trip is $5.07.
With 13,766,000 riders and $3,100,000 in income from the riders we learn that on average each rider is paying 22.5 cents.
Even after basically giving away their service they are losing customers.
Isn’t it time to rethink this situation?
If we need a bus service to help lower income people, can’t we deliver the service more efficiently?
We deserve better