Source: 2010 National Transit Database, American Public Transportation Association.
Fare Recovery Ratio of Selected Public Transit Systems, United States, 2010
Very few public transit systems in the world generate enough revenue from fares to cover operating expenses. This is even more problematic if capital costs such as investment in infrastructures are considered. San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) has a high fare recovery ratio, above 70%, but this only considers the heavy rail system. New York City Transit is the system which is the closest to be self financed, but the share of revenue coming from fare collection still accounts for only 52% of total revenue. Subsidies, such as toll revenues, make up for the remaining share. For other transit systems, the share of fares is even lower, in the range of 20% to 30%. From a financial perspective, public transit is unsustainable.