In 2008 the Municipal League issued its Review of Metro Transit which was critical of Metro in four areas: performance measurement, service allocation policy, strategic planning, and transparency. This current review describes the progress achieved by Metro since then and discusses its financial situation in light of the recent years of slow economic growth while ridership continues to increase strongly.
The League concluded that Metro has made significant progress in addressing all four areas identified in the earlier report. The Municipal League has been impressed with the service restructuring accomplished in 2012 to shift resources from lower demand routes to high ridership routes and corridors. Together with the performance audit-related actions, service deferrals, labor savings and fleet replacement deferrals, this was an excellent start to developing a more efficient system.
In addition to the significant actions addressing our earlier recommendation, we discuss a structural financial problem that Metro has just begun to address. Going forward it is important that Metro pursue a three pronged approach to its financial health.
1. It is critical that Metro rigorously control operating expenses;
2. Bus fares should be at 25% to 32% of the appropriate operating expense;
3. Metro should explore various creative alternatives to meet its revenue needs for a sustainable, quality transportation system.
The full report can be found at www.munileague.org.