Billings is governed via the mayor council system. There are ten members of the city council who are elected from one of five wards with each ward electing two members. The mayor is elected in a citywide vote. The current city charter, also called the Billings, Montana City Code (BMCC) was established 1977.
The City of Billings Metropolitan Transit System (MET Transit) was created in 1976 by the passage of a City of Billings Ordinance and came into existence on January 1, 1977. Council members serve four-year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms. Members must reside within the Ward from which they are elected and must be qualified voters of the City of Billings.
Areas of Jurisdiction
About 43.52 square miles of the urbanized areas of the City of Billings serving 110 thousand people in the Billings. With the Urban of 114,773 and a Metro population of 183,799 (2019).
Provision of Services
MET Transit determines the routing, stops, frequencies and hours of operation.
17 fixed bus routes and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complementary paratransit service (MET Plus). Fixed route bus service is local. MET Transit has a current fleet of 40 vehicles – 25 vehicles are used on the MET fixed-route service, and 15 vehicles are used on the MET Plus paratransit service.
Approximately $6.3 million annual operating budget; $306 thousand comes from fares. Fare revenue accounts for 8.5% of annual operating cost, average fare box recovery ratios among similar transit systems (FY15).
MET Transit generates 425 thousand annual passenger trips (FY19) or approximately 1,400 trips each weekday. The buses operate on roughly 265 route-miles throughout the City of Billings. Two transit centers – Downtown and Stewart Park Transit Center are available where bus routes meet and passengers are able to transfer between bus lines.
MET Transit currently tracks four categories of passengers by fares – senior, disabled, youth, and adult. Adults represent approximately 38 percent of the overall transit passengers for MET, with youth accounting for 30 percent, disabled passengers accounting for 20 percent, and seniors passengers comprising the remaining 12 percent.
Planning and Scheduling
MET Transit is responsible for the service planning, scheduling, and performance monitoring of all MET transit services. Service adjustments occur three times per year and as needed to improve efficiency and customer service.
MET Transit receives funding from various federal, state, and local sources. The primary sources are a Mill-Levy of 9.4 percent, Federal Transit Administration (sections 5310, 5303, 5307, and 5339), Montana Department of Transportation and fares.