Home Homeless Transit Autos Planning Politics Housing Printables/Misc Links Video

Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar

Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon          

“It must always be remembered how cost-effectiveness works in the public sector: the cost IS the benefit.” - author unknown

This report was prepared in response to many misleading and false statements about Portland's public transit system that appeared in newspapers, magazines and Tri-Met publications and on radio and TV programs during the past few years . Tri-Met is the largest transit agency in Oregon. It provides a variety of taxpayer-subsidized transportation services in Portland and its Tri-County suburbs . Tri-Met's Board of Directors is appointed by Oregon's Governor, who is the elected official directly responsible to the public for the transit agency's performance.

The purpose of this report is to provide business, government, community and media leaders, and other interested persons, with more complete and more accurate information, than that available from conventional sources, about both the ridership and the costs of Tri-Met's fixed-route bus and light rail services. This information includes:

1.Tri-Met's base-fare and no-fare equivalent ridership and its annualized capital and operating costs for each year since 1971.

2. The reason why transit has been losing market share to the automobile while taxpayer subsidies for new light rail lines and expanded bus services have been Soaring.

3. The potential of privately-operated taxis, shuttles and jitneys and new communications technologies to reduce taxpayer subsidies and increase transit ridership in urban, suburban and rural areas throughout Oregon.

Unless otherwise indicated, all financial data in this report are provided in constant 1998 dollars . This eliminates the effects of inflation in comparing financial data for different years and in identifying important trends.

PDF of the Report’s Executive Summary

Tri-met's Tangled Web, a 1998 Critical Review of Transit Ridership & Costs