CivicLex

How is Lexington’s Public Transit Funded?

Sectors: Transportation

Council Districts: All of Lexington

Issue Sections

Quick Summary

  • The bulk of Lextran’s revenue comes from property tax income collected by Fayette County. The tax amount is 6 cents for every $100 of property value for Fayette County property owners.
  • In FY 2018, this property tax revenue accounted for 70.8% of Lextran’s income, or $17,039,171.00.
  • Other funding sources include Passenger fares (4.1%), Federal funds (15.8%), State funds (1.5%), Advertising revenue (1.1%), and other revenue (6.8%)
  • Federal funds largely go towards purchase of new buses.
  • Both federal and state funds have been declining in recent years; property tax revenue has increased slightly, while the other categories have remained mostly flat.

Why does this matter?

  • Lextran provides service routes primarily in Fayette County because the bulk of their income comes from Fayette County property taxes. This means anyone who owns property in Fayette County has a vested interest in Lextran’s operations.
  • Since only 4% of Lextran’s income comes from passenger fares, the use of property tax income helps keep fares at an affordable rate.

What is the context?

  • Lextran provides approximately 14,000 trips per day, or 4.5 million trips in FY 2017 – and 65% of these trips are people going to work or school.
  • Lextran also operates a paratransit program called WHEELS and a ridesharing program.
  • Louisville’s public transit system, Transit Authority of River City (TARC), does not receive property tax subsidization. Instead, the primary funding source is the Mass Transit Trust Fund (MTTF) which receives money from occupational taxes.
    • The MTTF occupational tax revenue is about 60% of TARC’s funding, so this is on par with Lexington’s tax funding of public transit.
    • Louisville receives about 13% of its funding from fares compared to Lexington’s 4%.

How can I get involved?

  1. Talk with your friends, family, and neighbors about their public transit routes and needs.
  2. Attend your Neighborhood Association meeting—how and when do your neighbors use public transportation?
  3. Get in touch with your council member—talk to them about their use of public transportation.
  4. Attend a Transit Authority Board meeting. This group “manages, controls, and conducts business, activities, and affairs of the transit authority which is responsible for fulfilling the mass transportation needs of citizens of the merged government.”
  5. The meetings happen the third Wednesday of every month at 5 PM at the Lextran office. The address is 200 W Loudon Avenue in Lexington.

Sources

  1. Lextran FAQs Page
  2. TARC Funding Information
  3. Transit Authority Board
  4. Lextran Budget April 18, 2018
  5. TARC Budget FY 2018