Was just listening a Cato forum "The Future of Public Transit: What Are the Roles of the Federal Government and the Private Sector?" and was struck by the following statement:
"Today only about 20-25% of all funding for transit comes from transit fares. The rest of it comes from various federal, state, and local subsidies."
The problem is partly then the public transit is trying to please government, the major source of funding, rather than riders.