Monday, August 22, 2011

Ticket prices on the Music City Star commuter train would increase 6-fold if...

they reflected the real cost of running the train? According to the Tennessean article below, the total annual cost of the train is $4.5 million. Current ticket prices cover $700,000 of that cost. Am I calculating that correctly?

The Regional Transporation Authority has asked Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Wilson County to increase funding to $50,000 each, but so far, only Lebanon is on track to pay that amount. Metro Nashville contributes $1.5 million, and Mt. Juliet and Wilson County contribute $30,000 and $10,000, respectively.

The increases might not sound like much compared with the Music City Star’s $4.57 million annual operating budget. The federal government funds the train at 80 percent, with 20 percent matching funds from state and local governments.


Single-trip fares for the Music City Star, which range from $2 to $5 at the platform, cover about $700,000 of the train’s annual operating cost. Federal money covers $1.5 million, and the state contributes $600,000.