Saturday, November 17, 2007

Pace Laps The CTA On Cost Effectiveness Of Bus Operations: Implications For Transit Funding Crisis

A recent post indicated that Pace's financial situation is more dire than the Chicago Transit Authority's financial situation according to some basic measures such as unfunded operating deficit as percentage of revenue.

There is another side to the Pace story, however, and that is the relative cost effectiveness of its bus service. According to the Federal Transit Administration's National Transit Database 2006 reports for Pace and the CTA the "service efficiency" figures covering Pace and CTA bus service are as follows:

Operating Expense Per Vehicle Revenue Mile
Pace: $6.37
CTA: $12.50

CTA 96.2% higher

Operating Expense Per Vehicle Revenue Hour
Pace: $89.28
CTA: $123.17

CTA 40% higher

Operating Expenses Per Passenger Mile
Pace: $0.58
CTA: $1.11

CTA 91.4% higher

Operating Expenses Per Unlinked Passenger Trip
Pace: $3.87
CTA: $2.77

Pace 39.7% higher

Unlinked Passenger Trips Per Vehicle Revenue Mile
Pace: 1.65
CTA: 4.51

CTA 173.3% higher

Unlinked Passenger Trips Per Vehicle Revenue Hour
Pace: 23.07
CTA: 44.39

CTA 92.4% higher

Ignoring for a moment the costs associated with putting a bus on the street, CTA bus service is more effective than Pace's bus service because CTA buses carry more passengers per hour of operation and mile traveled. The greater number of CTA bus passengers per vehicle hour and per bus trip means that the CTA's operating expense per passenger ($2.77) is less than Pace's operating expense per passenger ($3.87).

Pace, however, is much more cost effective than the CTA in putting buses on the street. Its operating expense per vehicle mile and per passenger mile are only slightly more than half of the CTA's operating expense according to these measures. The CTA's operating expense per vehicle revenue hour is 40 percent higher than Pace's.

These results might be skewed in Pace's favor for at least two reasons. First, Pace's operating environment--suburban streets and highways--and lighter passenger loads result in fewer stops and starts that eat up fuel and equipment. Second, the CTA's bus fleet is older than Pace's bus fleet, so the CTA incurs higher repair costs because of the greater frequency of mechanical breakdowns.

So let's assume that Pace's bus service is 19.1 percent more cost effective than the CTA's bus service in terms of putting buses on the street. This 19.1 percent figure is conservative, representing less than half the lowest cost-effectiveness advantage that the FTA data shows that Pace has over the CTA.

Now apply this 19.1 percent cost savings figure to the 2006 operating expense for CTA bus service that the CTA reported to the FTA ($828,100,714). That yields $158.2 million, the very amount of the CTA's projected FY 2008 unfunded operating deficit that is behind the push to pass SB 572 and the many months of machinations connected therewith. In other words, if the CTA's bus service were as cost effective as Pace's bus service it appears there would be no unfunded CTA operating deficit.

Those opposing SB 572 might focus on finding a way to apply Pace's cost structure for its bus operations to the CTA's bus operations. Those supporting SB 572 might reflect on how the relative cost ineffectiveness of CTA bus operations compared to another public transit agency providing bus service in same metropolitan area dampens the appetite for a sales tax increase, and modify their legislative strategy accordingly.

Pace has already taken on ADA paratransit operations for the six-county region that makes up the Regional Transportation Authority's service area. Is there a way for that to happen for mainline bus service while preserving Pace's lower cost structure?


Dragon Reads said...

Thanks for the concise breakdown of the cost of CTA/PACE service.
I still believe the CTA is running a financially sloppy operation.

Anonymous said...

Now, let's see about the passenger satisfaction between the two. The CTA laps Pace any time - especially in spring before May 15 and in early fall after September 15. But even when they replace the V-belt to enable the A/C, the baseboard heaters are never quite shut off, the windows are not tinted, and the stooges in charge had the buses painted a dark colour. Result? A swealtering bus.

Do those in charge EVER ride their own buses? I bet not.

Then there's the headways comparable to the headways offered by airlines to an undesireable destination.

Why do they get better cost-effectiveness? Easy. The drivers get crappy pay - as evidenced by drivers ruder than CTA drivers!

Then there's those newest Orion buses with the upholstered seats where unless the road is smooth as glass you bounce around like riding in a storm chasing plane.

And to cap it off, the TV screens with nothing but commercials. No wonder drivers hit every pothole, hoping the tonearm in the hard drive gouges the platters to get the rubbish to shut off. Can you imagine 8 hours og "Honey Nut Cheerios, Bee happy bee healthy!". That only adds to driver rudeness, along with low pay and swealtering buses.

Rating: Zero stars. Use as the last resort method of transport.

逆円助 said...


精神年齢 said...


メル友募集 said...

最近仕事ばかりで毎日退屈してます。そろそろ恋人欲しいです☆もう夏だし海とか行きたいな♪ 連絡待ってるよ☆

家出 said...


動物占い said...


家出 said...


セレブラブ said...


夏フェス!! said...

夏フェス一緒に行ってくれる人募集!!夏の思い出一緒につくろぉ☆ 連絡してね♪

無料ゲーム said...


素人 said...


出会い系 said...


逆援助 said...


友達募集 said...


家出 said...


人妻 said...


素人 said...


友達募集中 said...


Anonymous said...

Le 1er Bijoutier Francais en ligne en Montres et Bijoux - Toute la collection de montres des grandes marques de montres - Montres de sport,montres rolex
see [url=]Assioma Montre[/url]

Leah said...

Quite useful piece of writing, thank you for this article.