Quick-Response Research on Long-Term Strategic Issues. Task 50. Transit Funding Sources and Governance Models

Public transportation agencies throughout the Unites States have long faced financial challenges. Recently, they have experienced unprecedented ridership and fare revenue decreases because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A survey conducted by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in 2023 concluded that half of the responding public transportation agencies are facing a fiscal cliff in the next 5 years. Addressing the current funding challenges may require new approaches to funding and possibly to the governance of public transportation. Regional Organization Models for Public Transportation (2011) identified seven strategies for successful organizational transformation; three are particularly relevant to this current research project on governance and funding: (1) Every region is unique and precise governance choices for public transportation must fit the region. (2) It is important to recognize and capitalize on windows of opportunity for governance change. (3) Governance and financing for public transportation are so closely interrelated, they must be addressed together. The objectives of this research are to present (1) revenue sources for public transportation and the relationship between revenue sources and governance models to help public transportation agencies be financially sustainable in the future and (2) a decision-making tool to help guide discourse among stakeholders regarding public transportation governance and methods for sustaining and increasing funding. The research should address through illustrative examples: (1) What are different revenue sources and how does governance relate to and affect funding and financial sustainability for public transportation? (2) What are the key attributes and criteria that distinguish governance models and funding sources for public transportation? (3) What are the benefits, challenges, and risks of different revenue sources and governance models? How do they affect the financial sustainability of public transportation?


  • English


  • Status: Proposed
  • Funding: $125000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-11, Task 50

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Schwager, Dianne

  • Start Date: 20250115
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01902059
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-11, Task 50
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Dec 13 2023 12:38PM