Fiscal Notes: Public Transit in Texas


(AUSTIN) — Texas is served by thousands of public vehicles ranging from buses and “dial-a-ride” cars to light rail systems, all of them operated by 75 public entities throughout the state. Those public transit systems took riders on 274 million trips in fiscal 2019.

In the recently released April edition of Fiscal Notes, we examine their operations, their funding and the challenges they face.

“Ridership on Texas public transit systems has been declining for several years now, due to factors ranging from cheaper gasoline to the many Texans moving farther out from cities to find affordable housing,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “The pandemic only accelerated this trend. Still, thousands of Texans — including many of our most essential workers — depend on public transit to work and to live their lives. Keeping it in place for them will be increasingly challenging in the future.”

In this issue, we also look at our own agency’s contracting functions and detail some of the work we’ve done to improve the effectiveness and security of this vital function. Last year, we managed about $740 million in contracts for other state agencies.

Fiscal Notes furthers the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. It has been published since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.

For questions about how our agency functions are continuing during the outbreak, visit our COVID-19 News page or our Virtual Field Office. Fiscal Notes is available online and can be received by subscribing via the Comptroller’s website.

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