Small Urban and Rural Center on Mobility

Posts for "2011"

SURTC Surveys Small Urban Transit Systems on Recent Changes in Service Levels, Fares, and Funding

SURTC recently conducted a survey of transit agencies serving small urbanized areas (with a population of 50,000 to 200,000). The survey collected information from across the country regarding recent changes in service levels, fares, operational funding, and ridership. Similar to a recent survey by the American Public Transportation Association, the survey asked transit agencies to report any action they had taken since January 1, 2009, or actions they were considering for the future. The survey also inquired about the motivation behind service and fare changes, thoughts about the rationale for transit subsidies, and the role that factors such as congestion, safety, and environmental issues play in marketing transit services and obtaining funding. Responses were received from 141 transit agencies.

The major findings from the survey are:

  • Forty-seven percent of transit agencies surveyed have either increased fares or reduced service, and 14% have done both.
  • Two-thirds of transit agencies responding to this survey said that demand for transit service in their community is increasing; 28% answered that demand is staying about the same, while just 4% said that demand is decreasing.
  • Of those who said that demand is increasing, most (94%) said their agency is facing limitations in its ability to add service to meet this demand.
  • Thirty-six percent of agencies reported decreased operational funding from local or regional sources over the last year, while 34% said the same about state funding. Federal funding levels were mostly unchanged.
  • On average, these agencies reported increased ridership since 2008, though there is significant variation in response, including 30% that said ridership has decreased. Meanwhile, a quarter reported that ridership is up more than 10%.

For more information about the survey and all the survey results, see the following report:

Changes in Service Levels, Fares, and Funding for Small Urban Transit Agencies: Survey Results


Jill Hough and Jeremy Mattson will be participating in the Transportation Research Board's 90th Annual Meeting January 23-27 in Washington, DC.

Hough will give a presentation on Educating the Future Transit Workforce as part of a session on Building the Transit Workforce of Tomorrow January 24 at 8:00 am. She will preside over the TRB Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Conference Planning Subcommittee January 26 at 10:15 am and will also present results from a study, co-authored by David Ripplinger and Bethany Brandt-Sargent, titled Technology Adoption by Small Urban and Rural Transit Agencies in a session on Advances in Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation January 26 at 2:30 pm.

Mattson will be involved in two poster sessions: Public Involvement in Transportation on January 24 at 2:30 pm and Safe Mobility of Older Persons on January 25 at 9:30 am. In the first he will highlight progress and provide an overview of the Transit, Technology, and Public Participation Project being conducted by Mattson, Del Peterson, and David Ripplinger, and in the second session he will present findings from his study on Transportation, Distance, and Health Care Utilization for Older Adults in Rural and Small Urban Areas.