Tulsa city planners should take note of the trend in medium sized cities loosing light rail riders every day. This research from CATO institute sums up the reasons. It is pretty easy to figure out actually. The lower cost of ride hailing services (Uber, Lyft) is putting a dent in the numbers of people using subways and trains. Large cities like New York and Chicago will be fine. The sheer number of residents ensures both Uber, city buses and subways will operate, for a while.
Medium sized cities that barely cover costs of running their networks are in trouble. When Uber switches to using self driving cars the cost of a ride will be close to what a transit ticket costs. How many commuters will opt to cram into a bumpy train car over a roomy sedan? I’ll bet not many.
Tulsa can be fortunate they haven’t sunk money into this municipal hole.