Found a report at the World Bank site written by Prointec Inocsa Stereocarto for the Madrid transit agency comparing operations integration and funding sources for several major transit agencies. I was mostly looking for just how lavishly France funds the Paris Metro, and found ample evidence: the French government kicked in $800M to run the Parisian transit system in 1997, and that local employers paid nearly $1.7 billion in payroll taxes (and discounted passes) to finance system operations. The riders paid just 25.7% of the RATP’s total cost, with taxpayers picking up the rest: 31% from the 2% payroll tax, 17% from the feds, and the rest from payments and traffic fines from the local governments.
Compare that to 53% farebox recovery for CTA, with just $700M in regional subsidy (plus a 25% match and reduced fare reimbursements from the state, totaling <$250M) for all of RTA, for instance — to serve a metro area of similar scope, although half as densely populated, and therefore much more expensive to serve with transit.
Update 17 July 2006, from a Fiscal Policy Institute (Word file) document:
MTA (NYC) finances roughly break down to 70% system generated (about 55% fares, 15% advertising and tolls), 25% dedicated taxes, and 10% transfers from other governments (including $250M from NYC). The six dedicated taxes include corporate income, petroleum importation, vehicle registration fees, 0.25% on real estate transfers and mortgage recordings, and 0.25% on retail sales. The taxes were introduced in the early 1980s, with a nexus focusing taxation on “two groups who derive significant benefit from an effective mass transit system: (1) the business community and property owners,” who benefit from better access, higher density, higher property values, and better business productivity from a broader labor pool, and (2) drivers, “since an efficient mass transit system relieves congestion and enhances their mobility.” Transit also improves the environment, facilitates economic activity and expands the tax base, and supports jobs elsewhere in the state: “public spending on mass transit has by far the highest economic multiplier among all industries in New York State”; $1 billion spent yields $3.4B in total economic output, 37,500 jobs and $1.8B in payroll. (Sadly, this is unsourced.)