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Status of the Nation's Highways, Bridges, and Transit:
2004 Conditions and Performance
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Chapter 8 Executive Summary

Comparison of Spending and Investment Requirements: Transit

Transit capital expenditures from Federal, State, and local governments totaled $12.3 billion in 2002. The annual capital investment necessary to maintain conditions and performance for the 20 year period from 2003–2022 is estimated to be $15.6 billion, 27 percent above actual spending in 2002; and the annual capital investment required to improve conditions and performance is estimated to be $24.0 billion, 95 percent above actual 2002 capital spending.

A comparison of 2002 capital investment requirements with average annual investment requirements (billions of dollars). Bar chart comparing values for two categories of assets. The values for vehicles are 4.1 for capital spending, 6.9 for maintain conditions and performance, and 9.3 for improve conditions and performance. The values for nonvehicle assets are 8.2 for capital spending, 8.7 for maintain conditions and performance, and 14.7 for improve conditions and performance.

The difference between estimated requirements and actual expenditures in this report is smaller than reported in earlier editions. This decrease reflects an average annual growth of 16.5 percent in transit capital investment between 2000 and 2002, with total capital investment rising from $9.1 billion in 2000 to $12.3 billion in 2002. It also reflects a lower projected ridership growth of 1.5 percent compared with 1.6 percent in the 2002 report and the application of a more rigorous benefit-cost test.

The annual amount estimated to be required to maintain the conditions and performance of the Nation's transit vehicle assets is $6.9 billion, 68 percent above actual spending of $4.1 billion in 2002. To improve conditions and performance, investment in vehicles would need to be $9.3 billion, 127 percent above the 2002 investment.

Due to their natural rate of deterioration, the entire bus fleet and a considerable number of rail vehicles will need to be replaced at least once during the period 2003 to 2022. Furthermore, in 2002, approximately 16,500 bus vehicles and 6,980 rail vehicles were overage compared with 16,200 bus vehicles and 6,780 rail vehicles in 2000. In 2002, 68 percent of commuter rail self-propelled passenger coaches, 36 percent of heavy rail vehicles, and 34 percent of commuter rail passenger coaches were overage.

The annual amount estimated to be needed to maintain the conditions and performance of the Nation's nonvehicle transit infrastructure is $8.7 billion, 6 percent above the $8.2 billion spent in 2002. The annual amount estimated to be needed to improve the conditions and performance of the nonvehicle infrastructure is $14.7 billion, 79 percent above actual spending in 2002. In addition to meeting future needs as these assets deteriorate, 14 percent of all maintenance facilities, 20 percent of all yards, 6 percent of all substations, 19 percent of all overhead wire, 14 percent of third rail, 15 percent of track, 9 percent of elevated structures, 17 percent of underground tunnels, and 56 percent of stations were estimated to be in poor or substandard condition in 2002.

In addition to the continual replacement of existing transit assets, annual investment requirements will need to meet projected passenger growth by expanding the asset base. The passenger bus fleet will need to increase by almost 42,000 vehicles from 2002 to 2022, or by about 45 percent, and the rail fleet will need to increase by nearly 5,000 vehicles, or by about 26 percent.

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