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The Real Reason Mass Transit Fares Are Rising Across the U.S.

New DOT figures show top agencies in a decade-long financial hole.
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Hardly a month goes by without a city transit agency announcing a fare increase. That's the unequivocal conclusion from a quick Google search of large U.S. cities. Boston's MBTA proposed an increase just last week. The D.C. Metro presented a plan for one the month before that, at the same time San Francisco's Muni riders prepared for one. The Los Angeles MTA chimed in with a recommended hike the month before that. And on and on.

The reason local agencies seem to need so many fare increases is that they do a poor job keeping the price of taking a ride near the cost of providing it. Just how poor a job comes through in a new data-filled report from the U.S. Department of Transportation on the state of American transport.