(Detailed PDF Map)
Source: Adapted from Wikipedia.
Farebox Recovery Ratio, Selected Transit Systems
Very few public transit systems around 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. The level of profitability of a transit system is usually measured using the farebox recovery ratio, which is the difference between the revenue collected as fares from the users and the operating expenses. A ratio above 1 underlines that more fares are collected than the operating expenses, implying that the transit system is profitable. A ratio under 1 underlines that the transit system has to be subsidized.
Therefore, because of their low farebox recovery ratios, most transit systems have a high reliance on government subsidies, even in a transit friendly environment such as Europe. Asian transit systems usually have a high farebox recovery ratio, mostly because of high urban densities and a greater share of commuting assumed by public transit. North American and European transit systems have lower farebox recovery ratios and have thus highly subsidized transit systems. Transit systems in a highly car dependent setting usually have ratios below 0.25.