Management & Operations

Transit systems feeling high-fuel-cost pain

Posted on October 20, 2005

U.S. transit systems are considering cutting service and laying off staff to meet rising diesel fuel prices. Fuel increases could cost public transportation systems as much as $750 million more a year, according to an Associated Press story. Systems such as the Utah Transit Authority (UTA) are also considering adding fuel surcharges. The authority is spending $3.65 a gallon for diesel fuel -- $1.44 more per gallon than it had anticipated, said the AP. UTA, which hopes to make up for a $2 million shortfall, is proposing a 25-cent-per-ride fuel surcharge. Systems nationwide have taken hits to their budgets due to skyrocketing fuel prices including Albany, N.Y.-based Capital District Transit Authority, which is expecting to pay $900,000 more for fuel by the end of its fiscal year. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority projects a $20 million surge in fuel costs this fiscal year, double what it had projected last month. In Denver, the Regional Transit District is expecting to be $11 million over budget for the year.

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