This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

In a recent STB post, John asked why we don’t just raise fares in Seattle, since that’s where the money is. I’d argue that Seattle is already subsidizing the rest of King County’s bus service to a large extent.

A few notes from 2007 ridership data:

West area revenue: $55.6M
East area revenue: $10M
South area revenue: $19.8M

West area fare/expense: 25.7%
East area fare/expense: 14.4%
South area fare/expense: 19.6%

Ordering routes by fare recovery looks almost like the original bus route list back when streetcars were removed, with four Seattle routes actually making over 50% farebox recovery. The average farebox recovery for the West side off peak is 24% – that’s almost as high as the system-wide peak recovery (25%).

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