Presentation on theme: "Highways, Buses, Rail, water and airports: Literature Review 1 Privatizing Transportation Systems."— Presentation transcript:
Highways, Buses, Rail, water and airports: Literature Review 1 Privatizing Transportation Systems
The Problem with Highway funding 2 Congestions cost America $168 billion a year. If not resolved then cities will die as centers of economic productivity, as centers of culture, and a pleasant place to live. Over half of interstate are congested and one fourth of bridges are rated deficient. The annual investment needed to maintain the current level of pavement condition using public funding is 8.3% short. In order to just keep pace with the growth in driving and truck usage, capital spending should be higher by 74% than current capital spending of $68.1 billion.
Advantages of P3 in Transport 3 PPPs have been widely recognized over the last several years as an innovative approach to transportation funding and procurement that can reduce project costs, accelerate project delivery, transfer project risks to the private sector, and provide valuable, high- quality projects; but these benefits alone do not explain the growing number of PPPs that are being procured in the United States.
Reasons for P3 in transport 4 PPPs are being utilized at a record pace because they: Respond to congestion and system unreliability by providing high-quality, well managed projects and better performance; Address the demand for transportation investment by providing access to a vast amount of private capital available for investment in transportation; Reduce the wasteful effects of political and special purpose spending by incorporating financial accountability for investment decisions into the transportation funding process; Help align the Nation’s transportation funding policy with critical energy and environmental policies by substituting private capital for fuel tax revenue; Accelerate project delivery by providing upfront private capital for a project’s full cost.
History of P3 Hwys in US 5 Prior to 2005 P3 were from DB to DFBOM. Since 2005, long term concession-based P3. Private sector assumes significant financial risk related to operation & maintenance, and for new projects risks related to design and construction. The private partner assumes greater financial risk. For existing highways risks involved in operation & maintenance. For new projects: the design, and construction.
Benefits of P3 6 P3 save 6-40% in construction cost, and limit potential overruns through fixed– price contracts. Private capital ease public debt. A good example is the Miami Port Tunnel project. The planners calculated $68M a year payments by FLDOT for design, construction, operation, and maintenance. The bidder selected required annual payment of just $33M. P3 are no riskier than procurement approaches. P3 can reduce public sector exposure by well structured concession agreements. Financial incentives to concessioners can assure high operation and maintenance standards. Proper allocation of risk between the two sectors can reduce overall risk, accelerate project delivery and reduce cost. A good example is P3 of VIDOT for I-95/Capitol beltway corridor where the concessionaire assumed the financial, technological and operational risks of implementing a variable toll rate based on congested (peak time) system. It assumed the risk for the expected return if the project is successful.
Benefits of P3 7 P3 encourage innovations and greater introduction of IT at the construction stage to achieve lower DPV for the project. Life time savings in operation and maintenance costs. P3 shortens project completion significantly. Immediate availability of private capital accelerates the project that otherwise will be delayed until public resources become available. The concession for improving 800 bridges in Missouri was assigned to one private partner per bridge. It will take 5 years instead of 20 years to the public sector.
Long term (LT)Concessions of Existing Highways 9 Chicago Skyway P3 Description: 1 st LT concession of existing toll road in US. 7.8 miles. Connecting the Dan Ryan EXPWY in south Chicago with the Indiana toll road. Private consortium includes Spanish Cintra and the Australian Macquarie. Both toll roads developers. Terms: The Concessionaire paid upfront the City of Chicago $1.8B and will operate and maintain the toll road for 99 years, collect all revenues for the 99 years. Revenues will be used for operations, and maintenance, repay debt, and contribution to equity. Annual toll prices were preset through 2017, and capped thereafter at the greater of 2%, CPI, or Per Capita GDP. Chicago used the proceeds to fund several programs. Indiana Toll Road (ITR) Description: Competitive bidding to operate and maintain the east-west 157 miles road connecting the Chicago Skyway and the Ohio Turnpike. Again, Cintra and Macquarie won the contract.
LT Concessions of Existing Hwys 11 ITR (cont. ) The concessionaire paid upfront $3.8 B. Again, BOT for 75 years. Unlike Chicago, Indiana invests all in the 10 years road improvement projects, and transportation projects for the IN counties. Evaluation: Both significant upfront private capital. Long term concession. Mature with existing customers. Pocahontas Pkwy No proven customer base for a large upfront pay by concessioner. 9 miles bypass, southeast of Richmond VI connecting I-95 with I-295. State funded through a non-for-profit entity that issues construction bonds. When opened no sufficient toll revenues to pay the debt. VI decided to convert from non-profit to LT concession type P3. Terms: 99 years concession with an Australian toll road operator. Price Included debt, maintenance and repairs by VDOT and the transaction costs. Prices capped to provide necessary returns. If excess revenues result then shared with VDOT.
PPP: New Highways 12 Impetus: Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), 1991. Expanded toll facilities eligibility for Federal aid for construction (re), resurfacing, rehabilitation, conversion to toll roads. Allowed also State funding and shared responsibility with private sector. Exception: Interstate system.
PPP new Highways: Principles 13 Always PPP where ownership shifts to public entities Always existence of non-toll alternative road
Rt. 91 in Ca. 14 Description: 10 miles 91 express 4-lanes within the median area of SR 91. Connecting 55 Freeway near Anaheim to run east-west to the border of Riverside County. Affluent local population, 8% annual increase in traffic—high congestion.
Rt. 91: Ca. Nature of PPP, Operation 16 BTO. CPTC Corp. built it, cedes ownership to State in exchange for 35 years lease to operate the road. Toll charged and 50% discount for 3+ people in car. Demand sensitive pricing by time of day and distance. Guaranteed 65 MPH otherwise money back Fully automated operation Immediate removal of non-operating vehicles. Results: Profitable from first year. Average occupancy 1.65 where 20% of which are carpoolers (3+) CPTC’s revenue increased 45% in its third year of operations, mainly because it was able to steeply increase average tolls. Vehicle trips rose 8% to 25.4k/day for the year.
Dulles Greenway 17 Built as BOT in 1995 in Virginia. 15 miles from Dulles Intern’l Airport to Leesburg. 4 lanes and 250 ft right of way. Private consortium financed, built, and operates it. Connecting the Beltway near D.C. (I-495) with Dulles Airport. Special legislation to establish prerequisites for construction & operation of a private toll road A commission was set up to regulate applicants, supervise, control operators, and approve/revise prices. Total estimated cost $326M. $68M initial investment by partners; of which $22 equity and $46M guarantee against project risk. $202M by consortium of 10 lending institutions. http://americancityandcounty.com/mag/government_making_inroads_private/
Greenway: Features 20 BOT. Transferred to State (VI) after 40 years. Subjected to utility style regulation. Targeted return 21%. Prices fixed for all day and all 7 interchanges. In 1995 price $1.75 ridership 10K vs. anticipated 30K. In 1996, price lowered to $1– ridership grew to 17K. In 1997, price increased to $1.15. Toll collection below anticipation.
Lessons learned 21 Drivers are reluctant of paying tolls that do not vary by distance and time of day. Demand sensitive pricing (discriminatory prices) also assure higher revenues, and avoidance of congestion. Private toll road companies face difficulties in land acquisition and managing environmental concerns. Rt. 91 had no land acquisition while the Greenway suffered additional cost related to delay in land purchase. DOT enjoys eminent domain provision in assembling land. Timely land acquisition added to the cost of the Greenway. Private companies unlike public entities cannot finance using tax exempt securities. Thus, private companies pay higher interest. Private companies unlike public entities do not enjoy sovereign immunity. Full liabilities for accidents adding in case of BOT additional operating cost. Toll roads should enjoy existing demand and not be subjected to induced development that will produce travel demand. The initial cost of toll roads includes high land acquisition and construction while revenues are low extending for a long period of time.
Lessons learned (Continued) 22 Metropolitan roads that serve peak time traffic (e.g. Rt. 91) are more financially viable than intercity roads (e.g. the Greenway). Most private investments have alternative use in case of failure. No alternative use for failed toll road which raises uncertainty and higher financial costs. Success requires one company to build and operate the toll road for a long period of time. Success requires simple and immediate land acquisition Success requires a committed political champion
Problems with Dulles Greenway 23 Fixed price for tolls. Demand sensitive prices over distance traveled, time of day, week day-weekend Excessive regulation by State/lenders for toll restructuring, change of speed Real cost of regulation in time and expenses No tax exempt securities raising developer’s interest payments Accidents and other liabilities absent for public roads that enjoy sovereign immunity No eminent domain provision to acquire necessary land. Negotiations for land took time and additional resources adding to cost Expensive project that is contingent upon stimulation of land use or induced traffic in the remote future with high risk
BOT Tunnel in Hong Kong 24 Feb 1988, the HK Gov’t granted a 30 year franchise to a private consortium. Longest road in HK 4 KM twin tube 4 lanes tunnel and approaching lanes. Completed 2 months ahead of schedule at TC of $276.5M 1. Financed completely by private sector 2. Shareholders contributed equity 1 to 2.6 debt 3. Risk for non-completion ran for just 18 months construction period. Risk was low because the tunnel method used was well known. Good reputation of contractor, and $400K per day penalty 4. Cost overrun risk was overcome by several guarantees of shareholders. To ensure project quality, a 10 year performance bond to address performance risk was put up by contractor 5. Post completion risks ran for 12 year loan period. Shareholders purchased i.r. cap. Cash flow risk was mitigated by HK gov’t approval to increase tolls.
LT Concessions for New Hwys 25 Texas, Virginia and Florida lead in P3 for new and capital improvements. TxDOT initiated the innovative Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) projects. TTC is a proposed network of super-highway corridors that could include separate lanes for passenger vehicles, and large trucks, freight and high speed commuter railways, water lines, oil and gas pipelines, electricity and communication services. TTC must be built with P3. Principles of TxDOT: 1. It will oversee planning, construction, maintenance. 2. Government needs innovations of private sector. 3. TTC is a LT, concession based P3 which includes private sector’s share in design, construction, financing, operation and maintenance(1). For each segment: 1. A competitive bidding. 2. The consortium provides a master development and financial plans. 3. Development of 1 st facility under a separate facility agreement.
Hi Occupancy Toll Lanes (HOT) 26 VIDOT and a private consortium agreement for a concession to design, build, operate and maintain 2 HOT lanes on 14 miles portion of the Capital Beltway. Concessionaire will construct 2 general purpose lanes and convert the two innermost to HOT. Toll revenues will finance $1.4B of the $1.8B expected cost. $588M loan from USDOT, $589M private bonds, and $350M consortium equity, and $409M of state sources. PPP is possible for projects that generate negative profits; bidding on minimum subsidy. Used for low traffic bridges in Missouri, and BART’s Oakland Airport connection.
Federal Programs encouraging P3 27 Private Activity Bonds. IRS allowed issuance of public issuer of private Tax exempt bonds (PABs) to finance privately developed and operated hwys and freight transfer facilities. The private developer is deemed the borrower and is responsible for the repayment. The total Federal PABs is limited to $15B and allocated by the Secretary of USDOT. TIFIA. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, 1998. Federal direct loan, loan guarantee or a line of credit. For direct loans, payments start up to 5 years and final maturity 35 years after project completion. USDOT may allow payment deferrals. Private sector is allowed to combine TIFIA with PABs for P3 transactions.
Managing Risks in P3 28 LT Toll concession (or lease, franchise) agreements where private consortium design, finances, builds, and maintains a toll project for 35-99 years in exchange for toll collection. Advantages: pool risks and deploy expertise across multiple countries. Innovations in toll collection eliminate any congestions at the booths.
Managing Risks in P3 29 New innovative approach to transportation funding. Risks exist to the public sector, however, they are manageable and can be mitigated. Create well balanced P3, perform due diligence before committing to project, and negotiate well structured concession agreements. Agreements should specify performance standards for facility conditions, safety measures, levels of service, and maintenance obligations. Failure to obey may revert right to collect tolls. Also, existence of public alternative will reduce use of the poorly maintained P3 facility. Private operator’s accountability to public authority and to the users which are the source of revenues assures high standards. In Indiana’s Toll Road Concession, standards were higher than when the State operated it. No formal standards for public operation.
Managing Risks in P3 30 Public-Public Partnerships are not a good substitute for P3: 1. Public entity does not enjoy unlimited authority to issue debt, and public funds are limited. Thus, PPP’s equity contribution that yields higher return than debt should not be avoided. 2. Private equity is another source of investment proceeds that is less confined than debt. 3. Equity risk is borne by the private rather than by the public sector. 4. Much of the success of P3 is attributed to the innovative and superior service, and accountability for its customers. Protection of equity investment in a competitive environment lead to innovations. Private bidders for P3 must incorporate cost and service innovations in their proposals. Congress’s PAB program that allows tax-exempt bonds enables private entities be at leveled field with public sector.
Managing Risks in P3 31 Private investors will be interested in just profitable routes 1. Investment of private capital frees public sources of revenues and debt to other transportation projects. 2. Possible packaging in P3 procurements of various return and risk projects. Used in Mexico for toll roads and bridges. 3. Bidding on the lowest subsidy for non-profitable projects. Example, the Port of Miami Tunnel or the Oakland Airport Connector for design, construct and operate.
Managing Risks in P3 32 Price regulation when Private toll operators enjoy monopolistic power 1. Concession agreements for toll facilities often set ceiling limits. Hikes are allowed for inflation, changes in GDP per capita, a fix percentage etc. In case of congestion pricing, allow operator to vary tolls based on demand price elasticity. 2. Failure to comply lead to shift control to the public authority. 3. Setting toll rates is important in a constrained or monopolistic market. Prices should not exceed marginal social cost. In a constraint market with monopolistic power, shadow tolls can be established and the revenues are paid by the public authority. Thus, the concessionaire efficient performance is reflected in the amount of traffic generated while shadow tolls are paid by the public authority.
Managing Risks in P3 33 Price regulation when private operator enjoys monopolistic power: 4. Another option is a regulator that approves private charged rates. For Dulles Airport the regulator is allowed by State law to approve the higher price of the three for the period 2013 through 2020: 1. The increase of CPI plus 1%. 2. The increase of GDP. 3. 2.8%. 5. Revenue sharing to regulate the private partner’s return on investment. Limits private partner’s incentives to develop innovations since the public partner can reap extra profits. Can encourage the private partner to “overcapitalize” the project in order to increase revenues without reaching the maximum rate of return. Best is to protect consumers by regulating prices without hurting incentives to innovate. Price regulation rather than regulation of rate of return.
Managing Risks in P3 34 Congestion pricing appears to improve traffic flow and social benefits on all routes: 1. On such toll roads, traffic is diverted from peak to off-peak times and NOT to other roads. 2. Diverts traffic from other roads to toll roads because of time saving and certainty. 3. Managing demand on freeways by congestion pricing during peak time improves traffic flow. 4. Congestion pricing can divert traffic to transit, which leads to increase net benefits.
Advantages of Tolling 35 A safe and predictable source to serve the debt, maintain the road in good condition. Creates a direct voluntary (market) link between the provider and the consumer, assuring high performance by both the producer and employees to satisfy customers. Customers pay for service they receive every time they enter the road and will enter only if the benefits exceed the toll price. Under tax-and-grant system, the public sector produces a “wish list” of transport projects. Assuming no net social external benefits, private investments in roads justifies economic viable projects. R. 91 in CA is an example of combined private sector’s initiatives and tolling. Variable tolls best to manage traffic flow. Stop-and-go traffic reduces capacity of vehicles per lane from 2,000 per hour to 1,200. Traffic engineers can calculate pricing to maintain 1,700-2,000 veh/hour/lane.
Advantages of Tolling (cont.) 36 Price adjustment raises the efficient use of lanes. Example, tolled R. 91 is 1/3 of the entire lanes but carries ½ of rush hour total traffic because of its free flow flexible pricing (1).
Reasons for Customers Use of Toll Roads 37 Research in Ontario, Canada related to the 407 Express Toll Route revealed 3 reasons: 1. Time saving 2. Reliability and convenience of the trip 3. Safety of the hwy.
Traffic & Revenue Model 40 1. Projections of population and land use in corridor 2. Estimate Trip Generation 3. Traffic Assignment to different roads based on origins & Destination & the time on each route 4. Time saved ($ per hour) and likely toll rates 5. Forecast volumes willing to pay the toll and divert to the new road 6. Annual revenues calculated 7. Annual operating costs 8. From 6 & 7 annual profits
Costs Estimates 41 1. Capital costs estimated include design, permitting, land, construction, legal and financing fees plus reserve fund for uncertainty and bond insurance against default (to raise the debt rating and lower the interest rate). 2. Landers want cushion termed “coverage ratio” between net revenue and debt services obligations at 1.3 ratio. 3. 25-30 years bonds with fixed interest rate. Toll rates are set based on constant debt service requirements through the life of the loan. Holds if revenue forecasts are conservative and no inflation.
Problems with Traditional Model 42 Traffic forecasts were on the high side. Population growth or real estate development in corridor did not materialize. This uncertainty creates pressure for larger reserve funds, reduces credit rating, need to raise faced interest, call for shared tax money and elimination of some road projects. The old model of paying off the bonds and removing the tolls is impossible. Also, roads need complete rebuild every 30-50 years.
Innovative Financial Alternatives 43 GARVEE bonds: State DOTs borrow by pledging a portion of their future federal highway grant receipts to service the debt. A method of financing projects but is small in relation to the amount available for investment. Shadow tolls: A way to enlist the private sector in financing, building, and operating existing road. Government commits a consortium over the life time of agreement, pre-defined per vehicle driven or per vehicle/mile of traffic. Saves tolls collection costs. Limitation: No new revenues are generated. Portugal, Spain, Finland, Britain. Politically popular to current officials while letting future government pay the cost. New European version is Availability Concession where long term rental payments are made. Like of prisons cells, and schools.
Innovative Financial Alternatives (Cont.) 44 Non-Profit Corporations: allowed to issue tax-exempt toll revenue bonds. Termed also 63-20 corps, after the numbering by IRS. Non-profit corp. had to be an arm length from both state DOT, and from for profit construction corp. 1. Initiated by engineering and construction firms interested in design and construction projects. The State is the other interested party in getting a road it may not otherwise get. 2. The firms lose interest once the project is built and their fees are paid. The non-profit has no equity and no shareholders with vested interest. Its directors are chosen after the road is complete and thus unaccountable for failure. Indeed all failed.
Long Term Toll Concession: Advantages 45 Greater access to capital. Traditional bond investors in toll roads get no upside advantage because they do not share profits and are only concern with downside risks. Debt coverage ratio=annual revenues/annual debt services= 1.25 to 2.00. This reduces the amount of capital that can be raised for construction in tax- exempt markets. Private concessionaires can fill in the gap with equity money. In Australia large IPOs of stocks. Concession Cos. are flexible in the ratio of debt/equity. Bond financing recovers capital entirely in 25, 30 or at most 40 years. Concessions can be structured for 75+ years.
Long Term Toll Concession: Advantages 46 Financing based on bond markets requires large amount to reserve funds since all the capital is under debt that must be met. Provider of equity can deny dividends when revenues are tight for years. Thus, concession toll road funded by a mix of equity and debt can better survive during years of low revenues. New financial instruments: Goldman Sachs and a British report estimate $250B available for toll roads. In the 1 st half of 2006, $100B was globally raised for infrastructures mostly in the US. Pension funds are interested because of long term prospects. The problem is lack of investment opportunities not in available capital.
Long Term Toll Concession: Advantages 47 Toll rate flexibility: Set at market value and raised by the concession limits. Tolls of public roads are not raised as long as debt service is paid, and do not reflect rising opportunity cost of time saved or increase of the time saved. Tolls seldom reflect the effects of inflation. The Indiana Toll Road kept prices constant over 20 years regardless of increase in traffic flow, causing congestion. Often when a road needs significant improvements, tolls are raised by 1/3, causing a decline in usage which could have been avoided if LT inflation would have been used. Private vs. public operator can upgrade electronic systems while public agencies face difficulties in raising the capital to do so.
Long Term Toll Concession: Advantages 48 (Occurs approx. every 7 years). Private operator can easier adjust staffing and training. Public operators defer maintenance when necessary while private operator must comply by contract or to maintain customers. Private operator has easier time implementing congestion tolling; responding to changing demand level and price elasticities. Labor cost of toll collectors in the public sector is double of the private sector’s. Also, raises in the public sector’s wages are input or seniority based rather than by productivity. When toll roads are operated by cities then maintenance is conducted by the relevant city department and is queued there with all other jobs uncontrollable by the road management. Private toll road operators can combine toll collection across state lines.
Long Term Toll Concession: Advantages 49 Expertise gained of major projects can be globally transferred by private operators from one place to other. State Turnpike experience is lost if no more major projects are internally initiated.
Funding of Roads 50 US: toll revenues enable tax exempt bonds, and hwy trust funds supported by dedicated motor fuel tax. Europe: No hwy trust fund nor tax exempt bonds. Toll funded long term concessions: 1 st France then Italy, Spain and Portugal. The toll roads companies started out as state owned and controlled while since the mid 90’s they were sold. These companies invest in Latin America, Eastern Europe and the UK. Australia: Toll road companies operate under LT concession agreements operate all urban expressways in Melbourne and Sidney since 1990. Now, these companies went global and developed road mutual funds for LT investors.
LT Concession Models 51 Works well for large scale hwy, bridge and tunnel projects. Reasons: Private equity can be raised if excess demand and willingness to pay exist for LT right to toll. Patient capital is less vulnerable to default in the early years of new toll roads. The private sector absorbs the risks of cost overruns, unmet construction schedules, traffic shortfall. Accountability. Concessioner that operates and maintains the road has no incentive to “cut corners” in the construction phase. Innovations by private sector: e-collected tolls, demand sensitive pricing by time of day and the day of the week (R. 91). Same in Paris, the mother co. of R. 91 where a tunnel was built under Versailles to complete a ring road (A86). In Melbourne, a private toll co. linked 3 existing roads in densed urban areas by tunnels and elevated roads.
References 52 Samuel, Peter, 2007. The Role of Tolls in Financing 21 st Century Highways, the Reason Foundation, Policy Study 359, Los Angeles. US DOT, 2008. Innovation Wave: An Update on the Burgeoning Private Sector Role in U.S. Highway and Transit Infrastructure, July 18. US GAO, 2008. Highway Public-Private Partnerships: More Rigorous Up-Front Analysis Could Better Secure potential benefits and Protect the Public Interest. GAO- 08-44. Poole, Robert, and Samuel, Peter, 2006. The Return of Private Toll Roads”, Public Roads, Vol. 69 (5): March/April.
Privatizing Transit Systems 53 Problem: Real Cost per transit trip has increased three times since Congress gave cities and states incentives to take over private transit in 1964. Worker productivity expressed as number of riders carried by worker declined by more than 50 percent, the amount of energy to carry a bus rider one mile increased by 75 percent, and the number of transit trips per urban resident declined from over 60 per year in 1964 to 45 in 2008. Over the same period, real operating costs per rider tripled, while fare revenues rose merely 8%. (For entire discussion, Randal O’Toole, Fixing Transit: The Case for Privatization, CATO Institute, November 10, 2010)
Cost of Moving passenger one mile 54 ModeCost per Passenger MilePublic Subsidy Airlines: 15c1c Driving23c1c Amtrak60c 30c Urban transit $1.00 79c Buses use far more energy and pollute much more per passenger mile than the average car. Transit agencies try more to get federal and state appropriations than sales from satisfied consumers leading for visible capital improvement.
Privatizing Transit Significance of Problem: Dependency on state tax collection makes transit funding vulnerable to economic trends. State operating funding are based on sales and income taxes that are very elastic to economic down trends. Property taxes collections that are less sensitive to economic trends provide only 2% of transit operating funds. 55
History Until 1964 most urban transit privately owned & profitable. Commuter rail service in Boston, Chicago, NY, and Phila were losing money and threatened to discontinue service These cities could not afford the increase that will result in auto traffic to these cities and the RR lines crossed state lines. Congress chose to support these transit systems but could not limit funding just to these 4 cities thus allowing all transit authorities to apply for capital grants. Congress expected that operating costs will continue to be covered. Private goal was just max. of profits. Public goals became mixed: solve urban problems, save the CBD, help the poor & handicapped 56
Productivity Routes were added into unprofitable areas Average # people onboard of a bus declined from 12 in 1977 to 12 in 1977 to 9 in 2008. # of people per bus mile declined 40% from 1964 and 2008. # of transit riders per employee declined from 60K to 30K after 1964 Amount of energy used to move an auto passenger one mile declined 30%, and increased 76% per transit bus between 1970 and 2008. In 2008: transit used 3,360 and auto 3.440 BTUs per passenger/mile 57
Fares & Costs 1964 through 2008: Fares per trip using GDP deflators) declined 4% while operating cost inclined 184% 1965 through 2008: Total operating subsidies have grown (again, using GDP deflators) from $0.6B to $24.5B. Reasons for the rise in costs: S Congress required workers’ unions endorsement for grant applications. Transit agencies invested in unnecessary high cost systems. Since 1995 all governments provided $500B in real terms in operating subsidies. 1965 through 2008: Use of transit declined from 60 per year to 45. Half of urban areas generate less than 10 trips per resident a year. 58
Findings Presence of expensive rail transit system does not affect ridership. Per capita transit ridership remained steady at 40-50 trips per year while personal driving grew 120%. From 1970 to 2008, transit’s share of motorized urban travel declined from 4.2% to 1.8%. As a result of the 2008-9 recession, over 100 transit agencies raised fares and/or cut service. NY’s MTA raised fares by 30% and eliminated 2 subway and 35 bus lines. NJ Transit raised fares 25% 60
Transit Tax Crisis 1/3 of operating costs comes from fare box, 1/3 from state or local mostly dedicated sales tax, 7% federal and 25% annual unsafe appropriations. Sales tax are vulnerable to economic conditions. Transit agencies are reluctant of creating reserves for recessions when mostly sales tax decline. The reason being that government may require the use of such reserves. Thus, transit agencies often resort to low return investments to avoid surplus. With little reserves, agencies have to cut service at a slight recession when dedicated sales tax decline. In most cities fares cover less than 20% of operating costs. So, 10% increase in fares covers raises only 2% increase in revenues. It is perceived as tax increase, unions do not regard it as their problem. Instead of the riders and providers, demands are aimed to the State. 61
Transit Debt Crisis The federal government pays up to 50% of capital outlays on rail while the rest is mostly debt borne by the city. Federal funds pay most of new buses which are also inexpensive. Thus, bus only agencies do not need to borrow. MBTA of Boston spends over $2 of $3 spent on operations. St. Luis Metro spends $3 of every $5 spent on operations. A huge burden is the healthcare costs. Portland $1.18 on every $1 of salary; NJT, San Francisco’s BART, Washington Metro $0.75-$0.85 in benefits on $1 salary. Transit boards agree to future liabilities that unaffect their present operations. 62
Transit Infrastructure Crisis A $78B backlog of work to bring transit assets into a “state of good repair” (Federal Transit Administration, 2010). Annual maintenance spending is less than is needed just to keep rail and bus systems in their current state of poor repair. The highway system is funded adequately by gas tax, tolls, and other user fees. The highway and bridges have improved since 1990. Bad maintenance condition of seven largest systems which carry over 50% of all transit trips totaling $50B of which $46B was for rail transit. ¾ of the 400 transit agencies was due to rail deficiency. 63
Transit Infrastructure Crisis The critical time when most of a rail line’s infrastructure needs rehabilitation or replacement is when it reaches 30 years. The oldest parts of Atlanta’s reached 30 in 2009, San Diego’s original light rail line in 2011, and Baltimore, Buffalo, Miami, Portland, Sacramento, and San Jose before 2020. None of them has the financial resources for the necessary rehabilitation when they are worn out. Some rail lines will cease to exist. Obama’s head of the Federal transit Administration suggests not to expand rail when operating costs are not fully covered. Instead, to designate painted “bus rapid Transit”. 64
Transit Innovation Crisis Public transit agencies incorrectly replaced low-cost buses with high-cost rail. “Dial-a-ride”: allows people to connect for a small bus pick up close to their door while allowing others to be picked-up or dropped. San Jose’s Santa Clara County transit District adopted the service but failed due to access demand. Taxi Cos sued the District for “infringing on their exclusive right to carry people door-to-door. The District ceased service. Automation through the internet could solve the excess demand of the call center. 65
Transit Innovation Crisis (Contin.) Rigid commuter rail that is a capital most expensive form and leads among limited # of points have been constructed rather than adding “dial a bus”. In the 1970’s, Atlanta, D.C., San Francisco creating rail with technology dated back to 1904 In the 1980’s, San Diego, Portland, Buffalo built light rail of 1939 In 2001, Portland added streetcars of technology dated back to 1888. Mass rail transit built after 1976 still carry less than 1% of passengers travelling. 66
Transit Subsidies Supporters of such subsidies justify the subsidies by exaggerated externalities. Randal O’Toole showed in a 2008 CATO publication that per passenger/mile it is the same as driving. BTUs by car is 3,400, while 3,400 by bus. Rail transit’s is 2,500 but include also high building energy. Total energy cost of driving is 5,500 BTUs for driving and 6,400 for rail transit. Considering fare box charges including capital and operating subsidies, cost per passenger/mile for transit is $0.98 while for car only $0.22. No federal or state subsidies for highways. All is funded by user fees. Congress authorized in 2008 diversion of more funds from highway user fees to transit. 67
Privatize Transit Transit productivity has declined since transit managers are not required to cover costs. Greater budget leads to improve stance of managers. Transit creates new programs during economic boom time that are not sustainable in the long run. Lobbying groups demand increased subsidy in recessions when revenues from State sales tax diminish. Politicians invest in expensive infrastructure in the short run, ignoring long term financial consequences. Public failure to innovate unlike the private sector. 68
Examples of Private Transit Atlantic City Jitney Assoc. Group of private bus owners that operate routes from NJ Transit to the hotels subsidized by the latter and 4 charge fares. Operates since 1915. With the construction of bridges, highways tunnels, and trains, Hudson subway, ferry service across the Hudson ceased in the 1960’s. In 1986, the NU system of Ferryboat service across the Hudson started, including ferryboats and buses-one fare. Following 9/11 with the interruption of subway service, many boats were added. NY Waterway is doing well despite competition by subsidized buses and PATH subway trains. 69
Contracting Out Bus Services Colorado’s legislature required that half of Denver’s bus service is contracted out. The private operator charged $5.01 per bus mile in 2008 compared with public’s cost of $9.65 (plus taxes and fees). 70
Effects of Privatization Focus on high demand areas like CBD and reduced service in suburbs. Use more technology and reduce on infrastructure investment. Use vehicles size to address demand and economize on labor. Private investors will use low cost, flexible bus service to replace when amortized rail, streetcars, light rail. Private operators may keep subways, suburban rail where 60% of operating costs are covered by fares. Bus service will continue in highly dense areas; in low density use 20 seats buses instead of existing 40 seaters. 71
Privatization Action Plan Switch from gasoline tax to currently 1.5c per mileage fee of driving. Allow higher fees on congested roads all electronically collect. End subsidy of transit. Transit federal funding aimed at specific objectives like reduce pollution or congestion. User fees will enable privatization of transit. Beware of monopolistic power. Federal funds should be based on user fees collected to encourage transit agencies to improve service. Rely more on user fees and less on general ledger. 72
Conclusions Public ownership of transit led to decline of productivity, increase in costs, and insignificant improve in output. 90% of federal subsidies are absorbed by higher wages of monopolistic unionized workers. Monopolistic transit leads to strong political lobby groups that promote expensive construction, transit contractors, manufacturing of railcars. Privatization will lead to responsiveness to users, less better service, and lower costs. O’Toole Randal, Fixing transit: The Case for Privatization”, Policy Analysis 670, CATO Institute, November 10, 2010. 73