For the last two years we’ve looked at DART’s financials, and wondered aloud whether it would be sensible to think about the sustainability of the current funding model before committing to a major new project as represented by bus rapid transit (BRT). (See my January 2015 IowaBiz blog.) This $25 million project would carry an ongoing operating cost of about $1 million per year.
In May 2015 the BRT project was put on hold due to the unavailability of federal funds, but the community is using the time-out to review DART’s fundamentals. (Additional information on previous numbers is available in our 2015 DART Post.
With two more years’ worth of data, it’s possible to see whether any of the trends identified previously have improved, and whether budget projections were met within the analysis included in our PDF: DART Policy Review 2016
Property tax revenue continues to pay for an increasing share of DART operations, with operating revenues (fares, contracts with major employers and advertising) paying for a smaller share. This is partially by design, as property tax is replacing federal funds that have been phased out.