Mobile City Council

City Council Members Meet With Transportation Official Across the State on Two-Day Fact Finding Mission


April 7, 2016



Huntsville, Ala – Mobile City Council Members Fred Richardson, Joel Daves and Levon Manzie are finishing up two days of meetings with transit officials across the state. The three met with officials in Montgomery, Birmingham and Huntsville to learn more about their transit systems and operations.

The cities of Montgomery and Huntsville spend far less subsidizing their public transportation services than Mobile. In the last year alone, while Mobile spent $6.7 million on the city’s transit system, Montgomery spent $3 million and Huntsville spent just $1.7 million.

“It simply doesn’t make sense that Mobile is paying so much more than other comparable cities across the state,” said Joel Daves. “That’s why we are working to learn more about what these other cities are doing in the hopes that Mobile can identify and adopt better practices.”

Over the past decade, Mobile’s subsidy for the WAVE system doubled at a time when public transportation expenditure increases in many other cities were much more modest. Compared with similarly sized cities, the system also has lower passenger volumes, higher operating costs and lower revenues. The operating costs per revenue mile are higher than both Montgomery and Huntsville.  

“These enormous costs are not sustainable for the city based on the small number of riders and funding needs elsewhere,’ said Fred Richardson. “There have to be better ways of doing business that address these issues.”

These meetings come ahead of next Tuesday’s public hearing and vote on the Administration’s proposed cuts to the WAVE Transit System.

"While we need to make tough decisions now, we are going to continue to look at these issues and seek out other options. It would make a huge difference if we were able to increase revenue by increasing ridership to make the system more solvent and better manage operating costs," said Levon Manzie. "At the end of the day, we need to find the best solutions for the people of Mobile and that's what we aim to do." 


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