Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
gahwi003
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby gahwi003 » May 23rd, 2013, 11:20 am

My understanding of transportation theory is that usage is likely to increase when potential riders know EXACTLY when the mode of transportation will leave. This seems like a no brainer to me. Cant cost any more than the electronic ticket machines.

Additionally, can someone patent "electronic train ETA signage", or would it more likely be the software that runs it?

MotorCity2TwinCities
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MotorCity2TwinCities » May 23rd, 2013, 11:25 am

jet777 wrote:Why is it that lightrail trains meet their scheduled arrival and departure times pretty well, but in the year 2013 the electronic station signage can't give you next train arrival and departure info like the tube in London?
I have often wondered the same. Don't the bus stops on Marquette and 2nd Avenue display real-time arrivals/departures?

Also, are there plans to paint all of the Bombadier (spelling?) LRV's with the new Metro Transit colors? I think the blue around the windows on the Type II's and that one Bombadier that they painted looks much better than the old scheme with black around the windows.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » May 23rd, 2013, 2:10 pm

gahwi003 wrote:Additionally, can someone patent "electronic train ETA signage", or would it more likely be the software that runs it?
There is a company called ArrivalStar which was making noise last year, but it's not clear to me if they're still doing it. Sometimes companies stir up the greatest amount of trouble when their patents are about to expire. Anyway, they had 34 patents at the time of this article last year:

http://www.theatlanticcities.com/techno ... cies/1819/

Whether any were relevant to this situation, I can't say.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » May 23rd, 2013, 2:11 pm

If it was just a matter of the software on the signs, I would assume you would be able to get real-time info for light rail from NexTrip online. However, it displays scheduled times. I think they just use a different system to track the location of trains, and it either isnt compatible with NexTrip, or they haven't made the effort. I know Seattle's light rail system is in the same boat, however, there is not even a published schedule to refer to there.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mplser » May 23rd, 2013, 2:43 pm

wait, Seattle's light rail doesn't even have a schedule???

mattaudio
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mattaudio » May 23rd, 2013, 3:05 pm

Is there really a point when you get below 10 minute headways?

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Nick
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Nick » May 23rd, 2013, 4:02 pm

mattaudio wrote:Is there really a point when you get below 10 minute headways?
What he said. The same goes for a lot of the high-frequency bus routes, too. No one takes the subway in New York or DC and checks schedules when the thing has seven minute headways. I've been in DC at night when the trains have 10+ minute headways and no one checks those either. I don't know why college students at the U complain about the 16 being five minutes late--I mean, it's really not, it just comes every five to ten minutes during the day, so plan around a range.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » May 23rd, 2013, 4:51 pm

Everything seems infrequent after using the campus shuttles, which I swear must average 90-second headways at some points during the day.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » May 23rd, 2013, 5:01 pm

Except the light rail in Seattle rarely is more frequent than every 10 minutes. It is a bit more frequent than the Blue Line at peak (they are limited to 2 car trains until the University Link line opens) and at night, but otherwise it is every 10 minutes. It also stops running earlier at night. Not having a published schedule also makes it harder to plan connections without relying on a trip planner. Even their Rapid Ride arterial BRT that usually run every 15 minutes have no published schedule for most of the day. I just think it is pushing the bounds of convenience to not have a schedule for service that is every 10-15 minutes.

Edit: I should mention: There is a schedule that they operate by, there is just no published pocket schedule or times listed at stations, online, etc.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » May 23rd, 2013, 7:18 pm

Yeah, I agree that's pushing it quite a bit. Sub-7-minute service and it's okay to go without schedule. 7-10 and it's a gray area. More than that, and you should at least mention the time it's expected to leave the start point.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MNdible » May 23rd, 2013, 11:05 pm

Not that it really makes any difference, but when I'm waiting for a train, I want to know how long my wait is. Knowing isn't going to change anything, but it's still nice to know. If I know that I just missed a train, I can settle in for a long wait.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby twincitizen » May 23rd, 2013, 11:43 pm

I agree with mulad and MNdible on both points.

10 minutes is pushing it for not having real time arrival. And it's just nice to know (especially if you're transferring, walking to the station, etc)

jet777
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby jet777 » May 23rd, 2013, 11:53 pm

Anyone who rides the train frequently knows how annoying it is to stroll up casually, start to take out a card, and see the train come and go while you're still fumbling with your wallet. A 1 minute warning even would be fantastic.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 24th, 2013, 9:42 am

I completely agree with the mental mindsets of knowing vs not knowing. Even in DC's subways, where the wait is never more than 4 minutes whenever I've been there, I really appreciate the information. It lets me know if I should sit down on the bench or just stand near the edge of the platform (is the comfort of sitting worth it if I'll just have to haul my fat butt back up in 5 seconds). For at-grade stuff, certain people may find the information at 7-10 minute headways useful in decision-making. On a bike and wondering if it's worth your time to just wait or just bike it. Etc.

I agree implementing things like this costs money (possibly too much if it's patented... ??) and are symptoms of how we maybe overbuild everything we do and why infrastructure in general is so expensive. But these are also the type of niceties that help in making the transit experience compelling enough to draw people out of other mode choices. If you've already got a sign there to display the line approaching, why not implement the time til arrival?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby jet777 » May 26th, 2013, 9:56 am

it requires no patent to at a minimum display the time of the next scheduled train. There are a million ways to relay and display accurate train arrival information that have been used in practice for over 17 years, so I have a hard time believing this has anything to do with patents. I think it's just something missing that would be easy to fix. I'm not even sure why there are electronic signage at every station unless they're planning on implementing this in this future, maybe to also include whether approaching trains are blue or green line.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby FISHMANPET » May 26th, 2013, 11:49 am

Even if you look on NextTrip online they don't have realtime arrivals for the train. For whatever they don't have the right equipment installed on the trains, though not really sure why.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » May 26th, 2013, 12:57 pm

It is coming. There is plans to have arrival time displayed on the reader boards. Everyone here needs to have some patience. But it sound like there is not much. There is lots of programing that needs to be done with the upgrades the RCC is going through now. It does require new computer software. I am sure there are more important items that needs to be dealt with first. Everyone has noticed the new displays on the reader boards that is part of the new programing. There was testing of arrival time a few months ago.

People here need to be patient. Just like the Green Line there is more that you do not see that needs to be put into place before they can place it in service.
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Also, are there plans to paint all of the Bombadier (spelling?) LRV's with the new Metro Transit colors? I think the blue around the windows on the Type II's and that one Bombadier that they painted looks much better than the old scheme with black around the windows.
Yes, all the Type 1 LRV's will be painted the same colors of the Type 2 LRV's. They are doing upgrades to the paint room again that takes time
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Chauncey87
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Chauncey87 » May 27th, 2013, 3:16 pm

Not sure where else to put this link so I thought I would drop it here. It seems like a good idea to get a jump start on how to handle all the extra ped traffic from the Green line. My only hope is if they are putting in more queuing areas they remain temporary.

"Pedestrians, LRT lines key stadium concerns

Long lines at the light rail transit station are common sights after games at Target Field, and LRT station queues in Downtown East stand to stretch even longer when the new $975 million Vikings stadium opens.

A new transit hub under construction near Target Field will bring relief to train-riding baseball fans, but it won’t do much for the Vikings stadium on the other side of downtown."

Read more: http://finance-commerce.com/2013/05/ped ... z2UWuFDzAD

As a side note I also hope they have the next trip signs working by the time the green line opens. So I wouldn't need to guess if a Blue line train or Green line train is coming next. If I am riding my bike or finishing a smoke I know if the train I see on the far end of downtown is my train or not. Hence I am able to decide if I have enough time to lock my bike or bring it with me and or find a trash can for my butt sooner rather then later. 8-)

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » June 10th, 2013, 6:48 am

MSPtoMKE wrote: but the Bombardiers are still showing route 55 after the rebranding that was supposed to take effect over the weekend
I noticed last night that the Bombardiers LRV no longer have 55 on the destination sign. Also the shuttle buses have "BLUE LINE Shuttle" on their destinations signs
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MSPtoMKE
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » June 10th, 2013, 11:02 am

Yeah, I noticed that too, but it took a week or so after the rebranding. And I don't see why they don't say Blue Line. The new LRVs alternate between "Mall of" and "America", why can't the Bombardiers alternate between "Blue Line" and the destination? There is room for "Mall of America" to fit since they don't have the color square. I think someone said the destination signs are set to be upgraded, but it seems like it would make sense in the meantime. It is a minor concern, but I think they should try to have it fixed by the time the Green Line opens.
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