We’re learning more about the nascent Oklahoma City streetcar system. For one thing, it won’t run on Sunday, at least at first, unless there’s something like a Thunder game going on. I blame this on Embark, the local transit agency, which couldn’t be persuaded to run any actual buses on Sunday for many years.
What I’m really curious about, though, is how much they expect to lose on this shiny new toy:
Based on ridership estimates from around 2013 and taking the upper range of those estimates, the streetcar could have just under 500,000 riders per year.
Herzog Transit Services of Irving, Texas will be operating the system, and will be paid $3.2 million for the first year. So each ride will cost something like $6.40. No way, of course, is anyone going to be expected to drop six bucks in the fare box:
Fares would be expected to offset 10 to 11 percent of the operating expenses once the system is established.
So, 75 cents a trip, then?
Herzog also operates the Kansas City streetcar system. It runs seven days a week and riders are charged, um, nothing. What are we doing wrong?