With Seattle and King County Metro renewing their partnership in the Transportation Benefit District, it’s interesting to track how the cost of service escalates over the years.
Metro bills SDOT based on actual expenses; SDOT pays an estimated cost and the the agencies reconcile the difference at the end of each year. There are three pieces to the City’s total bill:
- The actual cost of driving, maintaining, and fueling the buses;
- Amortization and depreciation of the buses themselves; and
- a credit for fares, based on the systemwide farebox recovery ratio.
Metro’s Jeff Switzer was able to give me the figures for 2019. They break down like this:
2020 will turn out to be a funny year, with little fare recovery, more cleaning costs, and fewer hours over which to spread the overheads. Nevertheless, it’s interesting that the operating cost of service has gone well over $150 per hour during normal times. This is congruent with the $163/hour that Sound Transit was paying in 2017-18 ($)