Subsidies and US Urban Transit Ridership

Vladimir Karamychev, Peran Reeven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In recent years, operating subsidies in the USA increased considerably in response to public concerns over traffic congestion and air quality. In a panel of more than 600 transit firms over the period from 1991 to 2012, we find no significant relationship between subsidy and ridership. We show that with a larger subsidy, a transit system operates a larger network but less intensively. At the same time, this subsidy influences service supply in such a way that the quality, as perceived by the traveller, suffers. This is reflected by lower costs of production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Transport Economics and Policy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2015


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