Portland is a PR machine for light rail & streetcar
Here are Some Facts About Portland Oregon
Cost of Trimet Transit  
Mode 
Trimet's Cost Data 
Trimet's Passengermile Data 
COST/Pass.Mi. 
Notes 
Bus 
$197,597,326 (Trimet's Data) 
236,736,000 (Trimet's Data) 
$0.835 
Calculated BUS 
Rail 
$73,537,962 (Trimet's Data) 
169,553,280 (Trimet's Data) 
$0.434 
Calculated LRT 
Combined 
$271,135,288 (Trimet's Data) 
406,289,280 (Trimet's Data) 
$0.67 
Calculated SYSTEM 
Rail, with construction 
$73,537,962 + $115,300,000=$188.9e6 
169,553,280 (Trimet's Data) 
$1.11 
Calc. LRT with construction 
Commuter Rail 
14.7 mile is max. length ride: $25 / 14.7 
$1.70 
Max ride =14.7 mi, so this in lowest cost  
Bus 
Lowest cost BUS line in Portland: (Line 33McLoughlin) 
$0.34 
Trimet data: Best BUS  
Cost of Cars based on Bureau of Economic Analysis and Federal Highway Administration's Highway Statistics  
Mode & Data Source 
Person Miles of Travel (2005) Table VM1 

 
Car (BEA) 
(divide this) $988.2e9 
(by this) 4,884,557e6 personmiles (to get >) 
$0.202 
Calculated CAR cost per passengermile 

Average people per car= 1.634 nationally, about 1.3 in Portland. Apply 1.634/1.3 factor to $0.202= 
$0.254

Calculated CAR adjusted for Portland  

Useroperated transportation (2005  line 69) 
Total Rural and Urban miles (2005 Table VM1 


Car (BEA) 
(divide this) $988.2e9 
(by this) 2,989,807e6 vehicle miles (to get >) 
$0.3305 (veh.mi.) 
Calculated CAR Cost/vehiclemile 

Average passengers per vehicle = 4,884,557e6 / 2,989,807e6 = 1.634 

 
Car (AAA) 
AAA’s calculations assume new cars; 15,000 mi/yr; maximum finance cost, yearly new tires, etc 
$0.522 (veh.mi.)

AAA CAR Cost per vehiclemile  
Car (AAA) 
Divide by Average passengers per vehicle (1.634 ) to get Cost per passengermile: 0.522 / 1.634 
$0.319

Calculated AAA CAR  
Cost of Portland Streetcar data from PortlandStreetcar.org  

Total Annual Cost 
Total Annual riders; Average ride length 


Streetcar 
$3.3e5 (including Riverplace) 
2.636e6 (sum of all rides fall05summer06) 
$1.25

Our Calculated Streetcar Cost/ride 

Each ride is 3/4 mile per Charlie Hales at PSC 
$1.25 / 0.75 = $1.67 
$1.67

Our Calculated Streetcar Cost/passengermile 
Cost of Taxi Fare in portland (for trip length same as average LRT trip  5.2 mile)  

Costs $2.50 to board + $2.10/mile. Each Additional Passenger is $1.005.2 mile trip=$13.42 
$2.58 
one person, per pass.mile  

1.6 people, 5.2 mile trip=$15.32 
$1.69 
1.6 people, per pass.mile  

2 people, 5.2 mile trip=$14.32 
$1.39 
two people, per pass.mile  

3 people, 5.2 mile trip=$15.32 
$0.99 
three people, per pass.mile 
additional data: Ave bus trip length = 3.75 (236736 / 63,129) mile
fare = $1.70 2hr; $2.47/day (monthly pass) (2 zone).
Note:
The Trimet costs and Car (BEA) costs are based of REAL costs and REAL miles, unlike AAA which is theoretical.
Light rail has massive construction costs which are ignored in the above (and ignored by Trimet's busmaxstat.pdf ) except as noted
The cost of roads is mostly included in the cost of driving due to taxes and fees being included.
Line 69 is the sum of lines 7077 and includes most (all?) driving related expenses.
Details  click on links to see original documents