In 2022, Metro Transit continued to make progress toward the goals in the agency’s Stronger, Better Strategic Plan. Ridership grew throughout the year as the region continued to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and there were several notable accomplishments, including the development of the Safety & Security Action Plan, the opening of the METRO D Line, and the introduction of a Universal Transit Pass at the University of Minnesota.
Moving forward, Metro Transit will continue to focus on strategies that improve the customer experience, enhance public safety on transit, make service more reliable, and move new transitways forward. Underlying all future work will be efforts to attract and retain employees and to build a supportive work culture.
Here is a brief look at notable 2022 accomplishments, organized by the goals and core elements in the Stronger, Better Strategic Plan.
Download a one-pager on 2022 accomplishments
We will transition from the pandemic to a more resilient transit system
• Launched the METRO D Line, improving service in the state’s busiest transit corridor through a combination of enhanced stations, signal priority, bus lanes and new, 60-foot buses.
• Began construction on the METRO Gold line, continued construction on the METRO Green Line Extension and advanced planning and design on several Bus Rapid Transit lines and the METRO Blue Line Extension.
• Implemented quarterly service adjustments to match scheduled service with the number of available operators and introduced Network Now, which will develop a framework for restoring service as resources allow.
Provide safe, welcoming, and comfortable service
• Developed the Safety & Security Action Plan, identifying 40 actions to improve public safety on transit. As of late-2022, nearly all actions were in planning, in progress, or completed.
• Introduced the use of contracted security officers at Franklin Avenue and Lake Street/Midtown stations, a pilot that will be built on in 2023.
• Completed the conversion to easier-to-clean plastic seats on all light rail vehicles and continued regularly cleaning and disinfecting all vehicles.
• Installed new bus shelters at 25 locations where they had not previously existed and replaced 33 aging shelters. On-demand heating and lighting added at 15 shelters and lighting added at 19 shelters.
• Completed a significant rehabilitation of the METRO Blue Line, replacing nearly a half-mile of track and signal equipment.
• Revived the Adopt-A-Stop program, inviting community members to help look after boarding areas.
Provide reliable and easy-to-use services
• Continued the Better Bus Routes program with improvements to Route 22, simplifying the route, eliminating low-ridership stops, and adding shelters along the corridor.
• Introduced the Universal Transit Pass program at the University of Minnesota, providing nearly all students access to unlimited rides using their student IDs, and promoted other key pass programs like the Transit Assistance Program, Residential Pass, and Access Pass.
• Launched a new microtransit program providing on-demand rides in a section of North Minneapolis.
• Expanded mobile ticketing to additional third-party apps.
Towards a more environmentally sustainable region
• Advanced construction on the North Loop Garage, which includes solar panels, electric bus charging infrastructure, a storm water recycling system, and other sustainability features.
• Submitted the Zero Emission Bus Transition Plan to the state legislature.
• Supported the development of the Council’s Climate Action Plan, identifying strategies that will prepare for future climate impacts.
Great place to work and build careers
• Continued the Great Workplace Project, inviting staff across the organization to participate in focus groups and workshops to develop workplace norms and foster a more inclusive work culture.
• Reintroduced the Leadership Academy, providing frontline staff opportunities to earn supervisory experience by temporarily working in management roles.
• Supported the bus operator apprentice program, providing new operators expanded support during their first year on the job.
• Introduced a program that allows prospective bus operators to begin as conditional, paid employees while preparing to earn their Commercial Driver’s Licenses.
• Introduced a technician apprentice program, creating a pathway for people with little or no experience to enter the field.
• Increased starting wages for operators, police officers, and other represented employees.
We meaningfully advance equity inside our organization and in the region
Completed an agency-wide racial equity training program, hosting guided conversations, and offering resources to all staff.
Completed a Service Equity Evaluation showing BIPOC residents have greater access to transit than white residents.
Adopted a transit equity statement
We effectively communicate and engage with customers, stakeholders, and employees
Launched a new feature that allows customers using Metro Transit’s website to chat with Transit Information Center representatives.
Introduced metrotransit.org/performance, providing monthly updates on ridership and reported crime.
We evaluate our performance and foster innovation for continuous improvement
Completed Mobility Hub Planning Guide to help communities integrate transit service with shared bicycle, scooter and car services into a seamless transportation network across the region
Created performance teams to evaluate rail and bus safety, speed and reliability, and other key topics.
We are responsible stewards of a transformative and financially sustainable transit system
Proposed a balanced 2023 operating budget and a five-year capital plan that invests in customer experience, public safety, and system maintenance.