A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

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Tiller
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Tiller » August 25th, 2017, 10:58 am

Does anyone think that A Line Operations will be any smoother this year to the state fair? I'll be finding out in a couple hours, though luckily I'll be getting on at 46th St station from the Blue Line and not at University ave.

DanPatchToget
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby DanPatchToget » August 25th, 2017, 4:15 pm

I took it to the fair from 46th and it seemed fine. Interestingly they took an older Gillig bus and retrofitted it to be an A Line bus. Not sure if it's only that one or if there are more and if it's just for the fair or permanent.

Did ridership spike last year during the fair or did it remain the same?

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby John21 » August 26th, 2017, 3:38 pm

I took it last year to the fair and it was terrible. Bus was crammed with people, fair traffic backup on Snelling. Better to take the 960 from downtown imo.

bptenor
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby bptenor » August 26th, 2017, 9:43 pm

If you live in St Paul, coming from downtown, the best kept secret is the 3. Gets you to the same place, without a transfer. The bus is usually virtually empty.

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Tiller
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Tiller » August 27th, 2017, 12:19 pm

Idk if they learned some lessons from last year's operations and made changes (since I didn't take the A Line last year), or if it just wasn't as busy when i went, but the A line was pretty comfortable to ride. Riding from 46th st, it didn't become standing-room only until university. On the way home, it was only a couple stops (before people even got off to transfer to the green line) until my partner and I could sit down together.

I think they might have moved the northbound stop so that you get off at Hoyt instead of Como (skipping all the traffic getting off Snelling at Como), and for the southbound stop, which was still on Como, they closed the southbound off-ramp, keeping most traffic out (except for the buses, motorcycles, and some police).

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby jebr » August 27th, 2017, 9:30 pm

It was standing room only on my ride from Snelling/University to the State Fair. They've moved the stop to Midway Parkway/Dan Patch for the fair, although the bus we were on used the ramps anyways to bypass traffic.

On the way home we actually took an "84X" home. It seems to be a route that Metro Transit isn't advertising but is running as a reliever for the A Line. We saw it around 9:35 PM tonight, and it ran nonstop between Snelling/Como and Snelling/University. It was slightly confusing as the transit supervisor said it was a local to Snelling/University, but when someone pulled the cord for a stop around Snelling/Minnehaha the driver just kept going instead of stopping.

While it's useful, I think it needs to have some signage and some clarity/ease of use improvements before we would see the full benefit. Even a sign at Snelling/University and Snelling/Como, along with improving the overhead board to say "84X SNELLING - UNIV / GREEN LINE / NONSTOP" (or "84X SNELLING - UNIV / GREEN LINE / LOCAL") would help to make it more obvious what it's supposed to be. (Currently it just says "84X SNELLING - UNIV," which isn't very clear a casual user or someone who isn't used to the Snelling Ave. buses.) Going northbound it could say "84X SNELLING - COMO / STATE FAIR / NONSTOP" (or "84X SNELLING - COMO / STATE FAIR / LOCAL") to make that clear as well.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby amiller92 » August 28th, 2017, 10:03 am

Tiller wrote:
August 27th, 2017, 12:19 pm
I think they might have moved the northbound stop so that you get off at Hoyt instead of Como (skipping all the traffic getting off Snelling at Como), and for the southbound stop, which was still on Como, they closed the southbound off-ramp, keeping most traffic out (except for the buses, motorcycles, and some police).
Think it was that way last year too, but don't recall for sure (in part because I was confused about where to pick it up on the way home last year.

We also took it from the 46th St station on Friday mid-morning. Smooth going even with a stroller. Bus was never really crowded on the way over, probably because of time of day. My only mild complaint is that we had to stop for a red light at Finn, right before the bus stop and at Kenneth, right after the stop. There should be signal preemption at both (I guess there is some sort of signal preemption but maybe there was a reason I didn't notice why it didn't apply here).

I guess there was a little bit of traffic delay right before we got to the stop, but not much considering it's the Fair and all.

On the way home we watched from the Como onramp as an A line bus passed us by up on Snelling. It didn't look particularly full from our vantage point, but maybe it was. The result was a backup of passengers and a stuffed bus that had to leave a few people behind.

Which led me to notice that the sensors on the rear door are much too finicky. I wanted like two full feet of clearance before it would shut and we could get going. For a full bus, that's several passengers that can't board.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby billhelm » August 29th, 2017, 7:33 am

I took it from the green line station on Friday. My daughter and I did the P&R at the U, decided the line for those shuttles was too long, and hopped a green line to the A... it worked great and probably got us there faster than if we would have waited for a shuttle.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mamundsen » April 13th, 2019, 8:50 pm

Would they ever use C Line buses on the A line for MN UFC game days? Or maybe normal articulated buses to increase capacity.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » April 13th, 2019, 9:25 pm

I think they're too committed to the BRT brand to use normal buses on the A Line, but I don't see why they wouldn't use BRT artics for MNUFC games and State Fair days now that they have them.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Korh » April 14th, 2019, 9:17 am

Didn't they want to use the new buses for the state fair last year to handle capacity on the A line but the order to come in on time.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mulad » April 14th, 2019, 11:31 am

I know I saw regular buses in use for extra A Line state fair service one year (the first year, I think), though I don't know if that ever happened again.

COLSLAW5
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby COLSLAW5 » April 15th, 2019, 7:39 am

They have new articulated diesel BRT buses that they use on the A line now

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby HuskyGrad » April 16th, 2019, 3:03 pm

We rode a BRT-style bus on the A-Line to Allianz and a fill-in regular articulated on the way back.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby alexschief » April 16th, 2019, 5:19 pm

COLSLAW5 wrote:
April 15th, 2019, 7:39 am
They have new articulated diesel BRT buses that they use on the A line now
They are using the future C Line buses on the A Line so that the drivers can practice with them. They also used the artics on the first Allianz Field gameday, and imagine they will continue to do so in the future. Otherwise the A Line corridor is fairly far away from needing that kind of capacity on a day-to-day basis.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby twincitizen » April 17th, 2019, 11:57 am

What do folks think of the idea of extending the A Line westward, replacing Route 46? I think this would be a far more worthwhile extension than the low-ridership northern extension concept in low-density suburban Ramsey County.

Extending the A Line over the Route 46 would connect it with (from east to west):
*D Line at Chicago Ave
*Orange Line at 35W
*future Nicollet aBRT
*E Line at 50th & France
*Grandview district at 50th/100
*Southwest LRT at Opus Station. (currently only a few peak-hour runs extend here, most terminate at Grandview)

As a crosstown route, the 46 is pretty ideal to transition to limited-stop spacing, only where the route intersects major streets, most of which carry a N-S transit route.

There aren't many flaws with this plan, but here's the big one: 46th Street Station is an extremely convenient and logical location for A Line buses to layover, give operators breaks, and facilitate timed transfers with the Blue Line. You would almost certainly have to implement a "dwell time" of ~3 minutes at the LRT Station to not completely destroy transfers. Also, the route could begin to experience on-time performance issues if you extend it that far west. There's also the issue of serving the high schools, as the 46 has special school runs that detour off the main route at Southwest HS and Washburn HS.

EDIT: I guess another major flaw with this idea is that you could just make the 46 better for a lot less money, by doing some stop consolidation, better shelters at transfer points, maybe signal priority in a couple key locations, etc. As far as branding goes, "46" is already pretty ideal, except for the western stretch that runs on 50th. The 46 is a fairly efficient crosstown trip, and a big investment on the scale of aBRT is not likely to save significant time off the current trip. The primary benefits would be the marketing/branding and ability to boost transfer ridership at those major nodes / connection points. I certainly wouldn't push for this before building out the currently planned network of aBRT lines, and would rather see near-term investment on routes like Franklin, Lyndale, Rice/Robert in St. Paul, etc.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » April 17th, 2019, 12:27 pm

I've thought for a while that extending it to 35W to connect with the D Line and the Orange Line/18/future Nicollet BRT) is a pretty obvious thing to do, but I'm not sure extending it west of there will make sense for a while. Even running it out to Opus would make more sense than the Arden Hills expansion, though.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » April 17th, 2019, 12:30 pm

Since the 46 is one of the buses I use the most and the route that runs closes to my house, I love that idea.

I had always thought the 46 should be interlined with the 74 or a parallel St. Paul route so that many more residents of Minneapolis south of the 53 have a one-seat commute to Downtown St. Paul. But maybe a 46th ST A Line to Green Line transfer would be just as fast and more comfortable/reliable? A one-seat ride on the 74 from 46th St station (Blue) to Central Station (Green) is 35 min, whereas taking the same trip via the A-Line to the Green Line at Snelling looks like 42 minutes.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby amiller92 » April 17th, 2019, 12:54 pm

twincitizen wrote:
April 17th, 2019, 11:57 am
There's also the issue of serving the high schools, as the 46 has special school runs that detour off the main route at Southwest HS and Washburn HS.
Seems like you could just make Nicollet to 50th the regular route to serve Washburn, although that would mean missing the small commercial node at Grand.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby billhelm » April 17th, 2019, 1:40 pm

the 46 runs a block from my house. I ride it when i can, but it has a terrible connection window with the 535/orange line, especially in the afternoon during rush hour. I've stood around at that station so many times because of a missed connection or a huge gap in between trips... I started taking the blue line to the 46 the other way from downtown. Longer trip but easier connection (sometimes, though it also suffers from issues at that station).

I get the sense that ridership is low because of this kind of problem - it also stops running pretty early at night so it's not a good late night option either. (I love taking 46 to A-Line to Turf club, but coming home usually involves an uber at some point, least I want to spend a good chunk of time connecting way out of the way in downtown MPLS).

I see a ton of people hide and riding at the 46th/35W station and I always wonder how many of these folks are skipping the 46 at the risk of getting stranded...


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