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Updated: National transit database

An interactive visualization of data over time from the National Transit Database. Now with data through 2017.

Do you wonder how much it costs to run your transit system? The National Transit Database holds data for transit systems in the U.S. I’ve gathered some key statistics and presented them in an interactive visualization.

In the case of Wichita, we see that “OpExp per PMT” for 2017 was $1.44. This is total operating expense per passenger mile traveled. It’s not the cost to move a bus a mile down the street. It’s the cost to move one passenger one mile. And, it is operating cost only, which means the costs of the buses are not included.

Some definitions used in the database:

  • UZA: The name of the urbanized area served primarily by a transit agency.
  • UPT: Unlinked passenger trips. “The number of passengers who board public transportation vehicles. Passengers are counted each time they board a vehicle no matter how many vehicles they use to travel from their origin to their destination.”
  • PMT: Passenger miles traveled.
  • Total OpExp: Total operating expense.

Click here learn more about the data and to access the visualization.

Click for larger.
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One Comment

  1. Chris July 7, 2019

    Wow! The transit program has been operating in the red for years. The re-routing plan the city put in place a couple of years ago doesn’t appear to have worked. More money is needed from the taxpayer.

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