Falling ridership and LRT
RE: HSR ridership declines as service improves (Feb. 1)
Andrew Dreschel’s column describing the inverse relationship between HSR service improvements (up) and ridership (down) reminded me of a recent article in a Toronto paper detailing a slump in TTC ridership and a consequent shortfall in revenue.
The long-term implications for Hamilton’s proposed LRT are disturbing. Set aside, for a moment, all the costs attendant upon building the LRT. Once it is up and running, its annual operating costs will have to be funded from two sources: ridership fares and municipal taxes funneled through the city’s budget.
If transit ridership is currently falling, what makes anyone think that the mere existence of the LRT will cause ridership to rise significantly enough to offset its annual operating costs?
It seems quite likely to me that municipal taxpayers will have to foot a large portion of the bill for the LRT’s operating costs on an ongoing basis. I have yet to see an argument that would persuade me otherwise. Jim Young, Dundas