Mass Transit is it worth the cost?

@bobmnu (8160)
United States
August 11, 2011 12:33am CST
I had the chance to visit friends in a large city and their house was on the route taken by 3 different buses. What I noticed was that the buses were running empty most of the day and during the rush hour they had about 5-7 people. As I drove around the City I looked at the buses and noticed that almost all were running with just a few people. I don't know the exact number of bus routes but I would guess there are probably 50 buses on the road during the day. The starting pay for a Part time bus driver is $13 per hour. The fare for the bus is $1.00 one way. The cost of the drivers is, assuming all are beginning drivers and they have 50 buses out for 18 hours a day is over $11,000 a day. That means that the bus company has to have over 11 thousand riders a day to break even. My question is why are we running buses that are empty or almost empty when it cost so much and every level of government is having financial trouble. Is mass transit one of those things that is becoming a very expensive option for the country? It should be noted that when mass transit costs go up the companies ask the state for more money and they raise the gasoline tax on autos. Should mass transit be paying for itself just like the gasoline tax funds the highways the cars drive on?
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