Low ridership, not low fares, is responsible for TheBus’s meager revenue – Greater Greater Washington

Well this definitely answers the question regarding service or no service for TheBus in Glenarden. It also maybe the general reason for the reduction of service routes by Metro in Glenarden.

Prince George’s County is looking at ways to improve “TheBus,” its local bus service. Of all the local transit systems inside the Beltway, TheBus has by far the smallest fraction of its operating costs covered by fares, so there is a strong financial incentive to increase ridership and/or raise fares. But first we have to ask: why doesn’t TheBus make more money?

Fares and farebox recovery

TheBus has significantly lower ridership — 13,000 on the average weekday in 2016 compared to 80,000 on Ride On and 30,000 on Fairfax Connector — than bus networks in similarly-sized jurisdictions. This is partly due to the fact that TheBus serves a smaller fraction of local bus routes in Prince George’s because of the county’s heavy reliance on Metrobus for local service.

However, what is concerning is TheBus’s very low farebox recovery ratio, or the ratio between total fare revenue and total operating costs. TheBus’s ratio, 5.9%, is less than half the 15% of Fairfax Connector, and less than a third of the 20% of Ride On, and 23% of DASH. In Arlington County, ART has an even higher farebox recovery ratio of 30%.
— Read on ggwash.org/view/67357/low-ridership-not-low-fares-is-responsible-for-thebus-meager-revenue

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