An article in the Los Angeles Daily News about the LAX FlyAway operating deficit caught my eye. The current fiscal year loss is expected to be $4.6 million.
As with almost all public transportation systems, FlyAway routinely racks up a loss. That in itself is not a bad thing – if you charged an unsubsidized fare, few people would ride and there would be more cars adding to the congestion at the airport. I get that.
But how long do you run with a losing route before calling it quits?
The Westwood route has lost $8.5 million since its inception in 2007. That’s slightly more than $2.1 million per year, or almost half of the current year ‘s overall loss!
The average ridership per Westwood bus was seven persons. For over $2 million per year the Airport Commission could have used a car service to provide door-to-door service for the users and still had change left over!
You would think that after two years, the commission would have determined the line was a money-eating black hole and pulled the plug.
Although the airport is not part of the city’s financially troubled general fund, the citizens ultimately pay the price for poor management. Funds wasted on failed concepts are lost to other more productive applications at the facility, which possible mayoral candidate Rick Caruso described as “third world” quality.
Airport commissioners are appointed by the mayor.