Metro "Most Efficient Among Peer Cities" According to UC Economics Center Study

UC Economics Center unveiled a study that shows how Metro stacks up against transit systems in peer cities, and Metro recapped its recent accomplishments, 2014 plans, and vision for the future at the Nov. 19 State of Metro annual meeting.

 

“State of Metro” Annual Meeting highlighted study, future vision

CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati Economics Center unveiled a study that shows how Metro stacks up against transit systems in peer cities, and Metro recapped its recent accomplishments, 2014 plans, and vision for the future at the Nov. 19 State of Metro annual meeting.

UC Economics Center study:

Metro engaged with the UC Economics Center to prepare “A Peer City Public Transportation Review: Evaluating Metro’s Operational Efficiency, Service Capacity and Fiscal Impact,” a benchmarking study of Metro compared to public transportation systems in Cincinnati’s 11 peer cities, as identified by Agenda 360 and Vision 2015. Here are the key findings:

  • Metro ranks No. 1 out of all 12 cities in operational efficiency. Across the following measures, Metro was at or near the top of the list: fare revenue earned per operating expense, fare revenue earned per passenger trip, fare revenue earned per vehicle hour, and operating expense per passenger mile.
  • On average, Metro is outperformed by its peer regions in service level provided relative to population, service area, etc.
  • Metro receives among the lowest total local and state funds of the peer regions. Metro is comparatively more reliant on fares.

 

When Metro is compared only to the four other peer cities with bus-only transportation systems (Columbus, Ohio; Indianapolis, Ind.; Louisville, Ky.; and Raleigh, N.C.), Metro is the most operationally efficient, provides the most service and receives the least amount of local and state public funds to support its operations.

“This analysis depicts Metro as an efficient system in a community that is under-served by transit,” said Julie Heath, Ph.D., director of UC Economics Center. “While Metro efficiently manages revenues, the transit system provides less service than its peers.”

“The UC Economic Center study highlighted our strength in operational efficiency. We’re proud to be good stewards of the tax dollars entrusted to us,” said Metro CEO Terry Garcia Crews. "The study also illustrated that most peer cities have multi-modal service options including light rail, heavy rail and are exploring bus rapid transit. These cities also have more state and local funding to more broadly serve their communities.”

go*Forward vision for the future:

After extensive community outreach and research in 2012, Metro created its go*Forward transit plan with both short-term improvements that Metro is implementing this year and also a long-term vision for the future.

Metro’s vision for transit in Greater Cincinnati includes Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), more express services from new park & rides, new crosstown and connector routes, neighborhood circulators, and on-call small bus service to hard-to-reach suburban job centers, all connected by new transit centers.

Looking ahead to 2014:

At the annual meeting, Metro announced that it will balance its 2014 budget with no fare increase or service reduction -- the fourth year in a row of maintaining current service levels and fares for the community. 

In early 2014, Metro will open the new Uptown Transit District, which is currently under construction in four key transit areas:

  • University on Jefferson
  • The medical center area, including stops near Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC Health/University Hospital
  • The Clifton Heights business district near Hughes Corner, and
  • On Vine between McMillan and Calhoun.

 

The new transit district will provide convenient transfer locations for many Metro routes and Uptown shuttles, with amenities for both Metro customers and the Uptown community: attractive shelters and boarding areas, real-time bus information, and streetscaping.

To learn more about the UC Economics Center study, Metro’s accomplishments and vision for the future visit http://www.go-metro.com/goforward.  A survey about the long-term vision is available on the website.

Metro is a tax-supported public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 17 million rides per year in Greater Cincinnati.

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