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Old April 16th, 2008, 02:04 AM   #101
Linea2
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Public transport in Argentina is profitable, and worked by private companies since the 1960s. However, to keep the fares cheap, the national government begun subsidising the operators a few years ago. In my province, there are some 40 private bus companies with 800 buses at all (No rail services other than a weekly train to Buenos Aires).
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Old April 16th, 2008, 03:43 AM   #102
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The Seattle Center Monorail (A.K.A. Seattle World's Fair Monorail) is often cited as a profitable transportation system. The Seattle Center Monorail's website < http://www.seattlemonorail.com/history.htm > states the following:

"The monorail opened to the public on March 24, 1962 nearly one month before the start of the World's Fair. At a cost of $3.5 million, the trains carried more than eight million guests during the six months of the fair, easily paying for themselves. That is, the full initial capitol cost of the system was recovered and a profit was realized by ALWEG before the end of the fair."

I have heard it stated that the Seattle Center Monorail continues to operate at a profit; however, the system was down for an extended period of time due to an accident and substantial repairs and upgrades were required, so I am not sure that it is still profitable.



If the term "profitable" is intended to mean that income covers operating costs, then the Las Vegas Monorail qualifies as profitable. The Las Vegas Monorail is actually a private business. Its revenue must cover not just operating costs but also construction financing costs. Presently, its revenue covers operating costs but only part of the construction financing costs.



Where there is no expectation of a profit, a question that should be asked is what sort of system offers the lowest possible operating costs. This is the question that large airports face. The answer often is a rubber-tired people mover, such as the one at Houston's George Bush International Airport.



The fixed-guideway systems used at airports are always fully automated with no onboard staff. They generally rider on rubber tires though there are a few exceptions, such as the LIM-powered system used at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport, which is similar to the Sky Train system in Vancouver, the downtown people mover in Detroit, and the Putra/Kelana Jaya Line in Kuala Lumpur.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 05:02 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
AFAIK in the US, Philadelphia's Market-Frankford El and the Metrolink commuter trains in LA have very high farebox recovery, that is they recoup a lot of funds through tickets and don' take a lot of subsidy to operate.

Don't think there are any truly profitable transit operations in the US tho
If you take infrastructure (as they do on the book) out of it Amtrak's NEC is.

Apart from that I have heard the Auto Train breaks even and the Empire Builder comes close.
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Old April 16th, 2008, 05:21 PM   #104
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TransMilenio is a P^3 (public private partnership) with no subsidies. Despite appearances it meets mass transit figures with a peak capacity of 45,000 ppdph (on the busiest line) and 1.3 million rides/day.





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Old April 17th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #105
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Las Vegas "Deuce" double decker bus route also is mentioned as profitable.
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Old April 17th, 2008, 02:26 AM   #106
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Not much, if any, here in the US.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 03:28 PM   #107
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Singapore MRT is also profitable. It registered profits of over S$130 million for the 2006/2007 fiscal year, carrying 1.2 million people a day on 90+ km of track and 51 stations
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Old April 18th, 2008, 04:27 PM   #108
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public transport actually doesnt need to be profitable for being profitable.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 08:36 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cees View Post
public transport actually doesnt need to be profitable for being profitable.
Yes but spill over economics are extremely difficult to link and identify.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:06 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
AFAIK in the US, Philadelphia's Market-Frankford El and the Metrolink commuter trains in LA have very high farebox recovery, that is they recoup a lot of funds through tickets and don' take a lot of subsidy to operate.

Don't think there are any truly profitable transit operations in the US tho
Isn't the MTA in New York City on a surplus right now? I remember getting discounted tickets last year or in 2006 because of it.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 02:25 AM   #111
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Probably means that all the government subsidies of the past fiscal year were not fully required to cover operation expenditures.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #112
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Quote:
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Isn't the MTA in New York City on a surplus right now? I remember getting discounted tickets last year or in 2006 because of it.
they counted real estate valuation on their books.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #113
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I read somewhere that there are only a handful of real profitable mass transit systems; Singapore's SMRT, Hong Kong's MTR and Tokyo Metro among the few... I remember most of the profitable systems are mostly in Asia.

Sorry I can't provide the source, really can't remember where I read it from.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddes View Post
I read somewhere that there are only a handful of real profitable mass transit systems; Singapore's SMRT, Hong Kong's MTR and Tokyo Metro among the few... I remember most of the profitable systems are mostly in Asia.

Sorry I can't provide the source, really can't remember where I read it from.
With most Asian cities being as dense as they are this really hammers the value of density and how ridership increases with it..
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:36 AM   #115
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Your opinion: cost of building underground subways worth it?

Hi.
I am doing some research for a writing project on public transportation in Malaysia. Just want to get your opinions here.

- Many people criticise the cost of heavy rail underground systems. Do you guys know of any heavy rail subways that have proved to be failures? Also, what is your opinion of the feasibilty of building heavy rail subways?

- How are heavy rail subways financed in your cities? Are the financed by the federal government, private sector or local state/city governments?

- What do you think of monorail technology versus heavy rail and tram technology? Personally, I think monorails are too slow and should opt for either subways for the speed and volume or trams for the low cost and for being street friendly. To me, monorail is neither here nor there.

Thank you
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Old April 21st, 2008, 11:39 AM   #116
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A major problem with these projects is that they have a huge cost overrun. Ofcourse, the initial numbers are only some kind of salestalk, to persuade the government to construct a subway, or other kinds of rail.

I think the question if it's worth it really depends on location and local circumstances.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:07 PM   #117
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Major projects all seem to have the same problem. A huge cost overrun. On average this is according to a recent study more than 30%. This not only counts for major rail projects, but also for other megaprojects (all seems to have the same problems). Urban rail projects even more about 45% average. Bent Flyvbjerg did some nice studies about them and wrote a book about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megaprojects_and_Risk

In the Netherlands most is financed by the federal government, will lower governments pay the rest. In case of a recent subway project: North/South Line which is under construction, the federal government is paying about 1,1 billion euro, and the city government originally 300 million euro but with the risk. Building started in 2003 and is now planned to open in 2015 (while 2011 was the original date). Costs for the city of Amsterdam has increased from 300 million to 900 million euro. The line itself is seen as very important for Amsterdam, because it not only connects new locations, but also solves the problem that the main station in Amsterdam reached it's capacity (railwise --> Amsterdam Zuid will be the 2nd main station in Amsterdam in the future), it runs along the most important local transport corridor, it connects many of the most important area's with each other or connects them with 1 transfer and it connects 1 part of Amsterdam to the rest of the city (Amsterdam North).
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Last edited by Wuppeltje; April 21st, 2008 at 12:31 PM.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 12:40 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chriszwolle View Post
A major problem with these projects is that they have a huge cost overrun. Ofcourse, the initial numbers are only some kind of salestalk, to persuade the government to construct a subway, or other kinds of rail.

I think the question if it's worth it really depends on location and local circumstances.
Any project has the potential to have a huge cost overrun. Roading projects often have huge cost overruns - the Sydney Harbour Tunnel, the Sydney Cross City Tunnel, the Auckland Newmarket Motorway Viaduct reconstruction cost blowout and this is just from my neck of the woods! I could go on!

Personally I believe that Metros/Subways/Underground rail are always worth building in a city dense enough to accomodate them as long as people aren't too habitulated to their cars. There is no point in building a partial metro and only attracting a quarter of the intended patronage.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 02:23 PM   #119
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Definitely. In cities, space is at a premium. Burying subways is a wiser use of space and a huge benefit when the weather isn't pleasant.
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Old April 21st, 2008, 08:13 PM   #120
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Your opinion: cost of building underground subways worth it?

Absolutely. Thank you for asking.
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