Regional Route Performance Analysis

Evaluating Routes against Regional Standards

Each year the Metropolitan Council evaluates how transit service in the Twin Cities region performs compared to the performance standards adopted in the Transportation Policy Plan (TPP). The analysis includes transit services operated by:

The Metropolitan Council:

  • Metro Transit
  • Metropolitan Transportation Services – Metro Mobility and other contracted services

Suburban transit providers:

  • Maple Grove
  • Minnesota Valley Transit Authority
  • Plymouth
  • SouthWest Transit


In order to run an efficient and effective transit system, we study performance measures to help find unproductive routes where service needs to be changed, as well as areas that need more transit routes to serve the demand. This analysis allows transit providers to balance the cost and ridership of each route with its role in the regional transit network.

Transit performance standards

According to the TPP, performance standards are used to evaluate the relative productivity and efficiency of transit services provided throughout the region. Performance standards are indicators of route performance and call attention to routes that may need adjustments. Using multiple performance standards gives us better insight into the operational and financial performance of individual services.

Productivity is measured as the number of Passengers per In-Service Hour. This is the total number of passengers carried divided by the in-service time.

Cost effectiveness of a route is measured by the subsidy required to operate the route per passenger. Subsidy is calculated as the difference between the total cost of providing service minus revenue from passenger fares.

Because different types of routes are expected to have different levels of performance, each route’s performance is compared to its peers. The peer groups used for comparison are identified in the current TPP. The Metropolitan Council adopted the transit performance standards found in Appendix G of the TPP (PDF).

Reports and supporting data

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Cole Hiniker
[email protected]