A recent survey by the American Public Transit Association found that despite increased demand for service nationwide, fare increases and service cuts are becoming more common due to escalating labor and maintenance costs and reduced tax revenue. Often, the only place to go for additional funding is the riders – so fares go up. SF’s $6 cable car ride is cited in the study (though frequent riders know to get a monthly or weekly pass).
Where should Congress spend the proposed stimulus package? A national coalition called Transportation for America (mainly unions, environmental organizations, and transit advocates) is lobbying for increased spending on mass transit, and not just more highways. Lots of mass transit projects nationwide can be considered “shovel ready,” the buzzword du jour for economic stimulus.