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16 CHAPTER FOUR AGENCY ASSESSMENT OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FARE PROGRAMS INTRODUCTION include ridership increases, revenue increases, and increased awareness of transit. Other responses mentioned for more This is the second of two chapters presenting the results of than one program include cash flow, simple distribution of a survey of transit agencies regarding public employee fare fare media, and the ability to reach people who otherwise programs. The previous chapter addressed the "nuts and would not try transit. bolts" of how these programs are set up and administered. This chapter's focus is on agencies' evaluations of the pro- Table 23 grams. Specific topics include agency satisfaction with cur- Primary Benefits of Public Employee Fare rent methods, potential improvements, and lessons learned. Programs to Transit Agencies Benefit to Transit Agency # Programs % Programs SATISFACTION WITH PUBLIC EMPLOYEE FARE Ridership increases 15 48% PROGRAMS Revenue increases 7 23% Increased exposure/awareness 5 16% Table 22 shows transit agency satisfaction with public Improved partnership with local employee fare programs. Most respondents (92%) are either 3 10% government very satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the programs. Interestingly, two agencies with multiple programs, and New sources of support for transit 3 10% thus firsthand knowledge of the differences among different Steady revenue stream 3 10% types of programs, reported different levels of satisfaction Other 21 68% Total Responding 31 -- Table 22 Note: Multiple responses allowed; no response for nine programs Agency Satisfaction with Public Employee Fare Programs Level of Satisfaction # Programs % Programs Table 24 presents responses to a specific question regard- ing the impacts of public employee fare programs on rev- Very satisfied 21 57% enue. Almost half of the programs resulted in increased Somewhat satisfied 13 35% revenue. In 85% of the programs, the revenue impact was Somewhat dissatisfied 2 5% expected given the design of the program. One program Very dissatisfied 1 3% reported decreased revenue, but noted that it was a very minor decrease and that it was expected given the discounts Total Responding 37 100% involved in the program. Note: No response for three programs Table 24 Why were agencies dissatisfied with three programs? A Effect of Public Employee Fare Programs on lack of ongoing interest in the program on the part of the public Transit Agency Revenue employer was a common theme among the dissatisfied agen- Revenue Effect # Programs % Programs cies. In two cases, the public employer did not allow direct con- Revenue has increased 17 47% tact between the transit agency and employees, thus limiting the ability of the transit agency to promote the program and its Don't know 10 28% services. In one case, a mandated discount reduced revenue. Cost-neutral; no change in revenue 8 22% Revenue has decreased 1 3% Table 23 presents the primary benefits of public employee Total Responding 36 100% fare programs for the agency. These are responses to an open-ended question. The most frequently cited benefits Note: No response for four programs