As a component of overall bus services, express bus operations and capital expenditures are most often funded through public programs and subsidies that provide 75 percent, or more, of the operating revenues required to maintain the public bus services. Express buses are seldom, if ever presented as cost-effective or self-supporting transportation services; but rather, as solutions to traffic-related problems.
Relieved of any financial performance criteria, express bus services tend to be evaluated in terms of traffic congestion relief, reduced travel times and generalized measures of convenience, pollution reduction and removal of automobiles from roadways along respective bus routes. However, the great majority of projected reductions in traffic congestion, vehicle trips, travel times, air pollution, and a host of other positive effects attributed to express bus services seldom materialize, and are often not measured or monitored in any systematic or credible manner after implementation of express bus services. Less likely still, are studies that would measure the negative impacts of express bus operations and facilities development on the very conditions that the new services were promised to alleviate.
As components of bus operations that typically command 30-50 percent or more of municipal transportation budgets, express bus services are not likely to demonstrate any positive financial impacts at any level, or in any sector of local government or commerce.