The cost of transit is purely the cost of fares: The average cost of a transit trip is just over a dollar. The average cost of a transit trip is 29 cents per passenger mile, 18 percent less than a car trip. The average transit trip is 5.3 miles (LOOK THAT UP) miles Transit, dominated by buses, travels an average speed of 14 mph along routes, but rail modes travel 15 to 30 mph along their rights with dedicated rights of way and longer distance between stops. but transit only travels an average of 13 mph. Some modes, like commuter rail travel at 30 mph, but buses travel much slower. 60% of transit trips are commuting to work, 15% are for social or recreational trips, and 5% are just for the sake of riding transit.
The chances of being killed on transit are 0.3 per hundred million passenger miles, about one sixth the probability of dying in traffic. If we divide this by the average speed of transit, 12.2 mph, the chance of dying transit are actually higher than traffic: 3.3 per 100 million hours, almost ten times safer than traffic. For rail transit only, the risk of dying is similar to transit over all: 0.3 per hundred million miles. Dividing by the average rail transit speed of 21 mph, the risk of dying on rail transit is 5.9 per 100 million hours, about a fourth of the risk of traffic. While a transit bus is wide (8’, as opposed to 6’ for cars and SUVs) for traffic lanes at 8 feet, an eight or ten foot wide rail transit vehicle requires only a foot of clearance on either side. Because they are on rails, streetcars, light rails and subways need no space in their lane to account for steering errors. Using the two-second distance again for transit, the stopping distance is 38 feet for buses, 45 feet for light rail, 60 feet for heavy rail and 92 feet for commuter rail. Assuming a typical vehicle size in a 10 foot wide rail lane or 12 foot wide traffic lane, for each of these modes, the space needed for each is 1,000 SF for bus, 3,000 SF for light rail, 4,000 SF for heavy rail and 5,000 SF for Commuter Rail. Per person, the space required for rail or bus transit ranges narrowly between 0.3% to 0.4% of an acre. That is under a tenth the space requirements of a car user.
Buses make up the majority of transit fleets, bringing the overall capacity down from the hundreds carried on commuter rail or heavy rail trains. The average occupancy of transit vehicles is 16 ppv, while the capacity of rail transit is 30 ppv. The capacity of bus transit is 7,500 pph, and the capacity of rail transit is 7,500 to 48,000 pph. To move these people, the energy consumption is 1,600 BTU/p/m, half of the energy consumption for traffic. Note that both energy consumption per passenger and capacity increase with each new transit passenger, whereas traffic deceases both efficiency and capacity with increasing vehicles.
The cost of building new transit to facilities varies between 3 million $/mile per lane mile for new buses lanes and routes, to 50 million $/mile for heavy or commuter rail. The cost of operating and maintaining a rail transit corridor is $1.1 million per mile per year. Transit is the most subsidized of all the modes, with fare revenue covering 35 % of the operating cost overall. High quality transit, unlike traffic has to be built station to station. There is not point ins developing a mile of track without developing a return mile, and a station to serve at the end of that mile.