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Data Dashboard: Funding for Public Transit Organizations


Funding for Public Transit Organizations

Trend at a Glance

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What does this measure?

Funding for public transportation is the actual amount spent on public transportation service providers in Wake County. Expenditures include both operating and capital dollars by local, state, and federal governments. Service providers in Wake County are Capital Area Transit (CAT), Cary Transit (C-Tran), North Carolina State University (Wolfline, and Triangle Transit.  Public transit users subsidize bus operations in the form of bus fares, but transit providers depend upon a mix of local funds and federal and state aid to provide transit services. To maintain and improve operations, public transportation agencies must maintain a sustainable an equitable balance between these funding sources. Changes to local funding for public transportation may be due to a combination of factors, such as the cost of public transportation services, changes in fare or fare revenue, changes to federal and/or state assistance, and expansion of bus services. Note that Triangle Transit also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, so numbers reported below also include funds provided by those governments.

How is Wake County performing?

Local funding for public transportation has increased in recent years due to new and expanded bus routes and increasing cost of service. Historically, local public transportation service providers have funded approximately 18% of capital projects (route expansion, fleet expansion, etc.) while the remaining 82% are funded through federal and state grants/assistance. For operating costs, local agencies and fares tend to fund a higher share, nearly 80%, with the balance provided through performance-based federal programs and state grants.

Did you know?

In 2014, fare revenues accounted for nearly 19% of public transit operating costs.

Data Source

Data Considerations

Note that because Triangle Transit also provides service to Durham and Orange Counties, reported numbers also include funds provided by those governments.

Charts & Maps

Total Bus Funding 1.PNG


Data is updated:

Data updated annually by Wake County Community Services, subject to data being available from the National Transit Database, American Public Transportation Association, and each service provider.

Related Resources


September 2016; Revised to reflect revised 2014 data




Created at 1/3/2014 3:48 PM by Lori K. Neumeier
Last modified at 9/21/2016 2:45 PM by Regina N. Halyard





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