As the economy slumps, there are fewer and fewer cars on the road as people drive less to reach jobs, goods and services. It in turn means, of course, a reduction in congestion in major cities. While such a decrease may seem like a dream for automobile commuters, its a quandry for transit agencies dependent on fuel tax, road and bridge tolls and sales tax to fund transportation projects. Just as the demand for public transit is at a 50-year high, agencies are scrambling to find money as auto-dependent revenues decline. Here’s the paradox: less cars on the road, the less money for public transit.
The article highlights how other industries suffer as well: taxis, rental car service, drive-thru restaurants – all whom provide sales tax revenue. Transportation agencies will have to struggle in the next few years to provide funding solutions as more Americans alter their transportation habits.