Evaluating the Comps

The transit experience in peer markets

  • In St. Louis, opposition to LRT was fierce initially. But political will has swung decisively the other way since the debut of the first Metrolink line in 1993 and ridership that has exceeded expectations. St. Louis Metro is now extending its two existing lines and planning a third line, all without federal contribution.
  • Pittsburgh’s streetcar system was the nation’s largest when it closed in the mid 1960s. Twenty years later the Allegheny County Port Authority began operating its modern light rail service, “the T”, which has grown to four lines. The Port Authority also operates three bus rapid transit lines.
  • For overall transit, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Portland, Seattle and Cleveland are “peer markets” with Minneapolis. Metro Transit is more efficient than its peers in rides per dollar of subsidy (paying for 1/3 of bus operations out of the fare box) but provides fewer rides per capita than all.
  • More: Start Tribune: "Transit on Trial"