Comparing Bus Fares to Minimum Wage

A bus fare doesn't exist in a vacuum. To understand the true cost of a transit ride, one report compared bus fares to the local minimum wage, revealing Atlanta, Dallas, and Salt Lake City to have the highest fares.

May 17, 2016, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


MARTA Bus

Kristain Baty / Shutterstock

"A comparison between Georgia’s minimum wage and MARTA’s transit fare makes Atlanta’s transit system one of the nation’s most expensive," reports Ana Santos.

"Data from the Atlanta Regional Commission and Neighborhood Nexus shows that a worker making minimum wage would have to work a total of 41 minutes to make up for the cost of transportation in Atlanta," adds Santos to explain that conclusion.

According to the analysis of bus fares (i.e., not rail transit fares), Atlanta's affordability matches with DART, in Dallas, and UTA, in Salt Lake City, as the most expensive transit fares in the country. At the other end of the spectrum is Washington, D.C., which requires 20 minutes of work to cover the cost of a bus ticket.

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