Subway Economics

The difficulties of making subway lines run at a profit have existed for over ten years and, up until now, no solution has been found.
It’s obvious that simply relying on revenue from ticket sales is not enough to cover the sizable operating costs.
Attempts to replicate the Hong Kong model have also proved unsuccessful, with most city governments instead being forced to pay out billions of yuan each year to subsidize operations.

Subway Economics: Why D.C. Needs More Chains

Relationship Economics

Subway USA have a standard price of $5 for a number of foot long subs and back this up with heavy advertising. However, Subway restaurants in San Francisco are the only place in the USA not to offer this deal and they blame the newly increased minimum wage. The city of recently implemented a minimum wage of $10.24 per hour (compared to the mandatory federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour). This has meant that the $5 foot-longs are simply not profitable in San Francisco.


4 Responses to “Subway Economics”
  1. Richard says:

    Huh? Are you claiming BLT is more cost effective?:)
    Yep, Baselland Transport AG [BLT] Basel Trams is more cost effective than Subways
    Swiss Tony

  2. Rico says:

    I think he meant it as a metaphor. Subway is metro and Quizno’s is LRT….

  3. Rico says:

    Swiss Tony,

    Please don’t take this as an attack on Basel or transit in Basel because I have been to Basel many times (I have relatives there) and love the transit network….but it is great because the Swiss have made a deliberate decision to heavily fund public transportation. No being cheap like we are in North America. The Swiss voters have frequently OKed large amounts of money for public transit in order to achieve desired outcomes (air pollution, better city centers etc). The BLT achieved 55% farebox recovery (2012), I suspect this is likely because its service is primarily suburban but….that cost recovery is similar to Vancouvers as a whole and way less than what you would expect from a typical metro (yes I know you were just being tongue and cheek with the BLT reference….but I could not help myself Zwei has turned me into a fact crusader).

  4. Richard says:


    Quite the hero!