Here's an interesting article from Steve Stewart's Tallahassee Reports website.
If this information is accurate, it would appear to vindicate those of us who
opposed StarMetro's Nova 2010 bus route decentralization debacle. Now, once
again, city and StarMetro bureaucrats who don't ride the bus have decided to
act, by cutting the budget, without consulting those people who do ride the bus.
Star Metro Ridership Plummets 22%, Taxpayer Subsidy Increases 27%
Posted on June 12, 2016
Tallahassee Reports, through a public records request, has determined that
StarMetro ridership has declined 22% from 2010-2015. During this same time
period the subsidies provided to StarMetro by City of Tallahassee taxpayers has
increased by 27%.
Ridership was down from 4.71 million people in 2010 to 3.66 million in 2015.
These ridership numbers include both City passengers and University passengers.
Both categories declined during the five-year period. University riders
declined 17% while City passengers declined 27%.
Also, due to the recent cancellation of the FAMU contract with StarMetro to
provide bus services on campus, passenger numbers are expected to decline again
During this same time period, the subsidies provided by taxpayers has increased
from approximately $7.9 million in 2010 to approximately $10 million in 2015.
The subsidies are transferred annually from the General Fund, which is
supported by property taxes, sales taxes, and utility taxes.
Recently the City of Tallahassee began using revenues collected from the
Gasoline Tax to fund StarMetro operations. Since 2014 approximately $2.3
million in Gas Tax revenue has been transferred to StarMetro.
This means over the last three years, approximately $6.9 million has been
removed from road paving, road maintenance and sidewalk projects to support
Various citizens groups, who are actively engaged with evaluating the City’s
spending priorities, have raised concerns about StarMetro’s role in the need
for the recent property tax increase and the lack of concern by City staff with
StarMetro’s operational efficiency.
The City will present the FY2017 budget on June 2oth. TR will report on how the
City deals with StarMetro funding when the information becomes available.