By Thelma Drake
Today, state aid for transit operations is distributed based on expenses, not efficiency. The current formula rewards transit companies that spend the most money, whether on fuel, tires, maintenance, administrative costs or items such as travel and entertainment expenses or gifts. This formula for distribution has remained unchanged since its creation in 1986.
The system creates winners and losers by rewarding inefficiency with more funding and punishes the efficient transit system with less funding. Plainly stated, the more you spend, the more you receive in state funding regardless of outcome and regardless of how those dollars were spent.
Drake is director of the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.