Public Transit Department Funding Sources
Funding for the Phoenix Public Transit Department comes primarily from sales tax revenues generated by purchases in the city of Phoenix along with fares paid by passengers who use transit services. A regional sales tax and federal grants are also important to sustaining transit services in Phoenix.
Sales taxes from the Transit 2000 program, a voter-approved initiative, support bus and Phoenix Dial-a-Ride services as well as RAPID commuter service and light rail operations.
Passengers pay for approximately 25% of the operational cost of the transit system through the purchase of transit passes which are used when you board a bus or train.
Additional funds come from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in the form of grants. These funds typically support capital budget items, planning projects, and homeland security. As the designated recipient of federal grant funds for the Phoenix-Mesa urbanized area, the Phoenix Public Transit Department oversees pass-through to other governmental agencies in Maricopa County.
Transit 2000 – March 2000
In March 2000, the voters of the city of Phoenix passed Transit 2000, a 4/10ths of a cent sales tax that began improvements to local bus and commuter bus services and started the development of a light rail system. Approximately 66 percent of the funds are apportioned to capital projects and operation of local bus, RAPID(tm), Dial-a-Ride, and neighborhood circulators. The remaining 33 percent supports light rail construction and operations in the city of Phoenix.
Prior to the implementation of the Transit 2000 sales tax, in 1999, Phoenix had the 34th largest transit system in the United States. Now the regional system ranks consistently in the top 15 systems nationwide.
The referendum also created the Phoenix Citizens Transit Commission (CTC) to assure public input and accountability on all transit and traffic improvements made with Transit 2000 funding.
Transit 2000 publicity pamphlet (PDF)
Proposition 400 - November 2004
On November 2, 2004, Maricopa County voters approved Proposition 400, a county 0.5% sales tax for transportation funding. The Regional Transportation Plan, developed by Valley mayors and business representatives, funds improvements to freeways, streets, and transit services in the Valley including Phoenix.