Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

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

Postby mulad » June 19th, 2013, 7:06 am

A friend posted this note from Metro Transit on his Google+ account:
Metro Transit wrote:Thank you for your email regarding the electronic signage along the LRT - specifically at the Franklin Station.

You are correct, the signage has changed recently due to software upgrades. The new flash message you saw at the Franklin station is presently at all platform stations.

Many of our customers have expressed interest in Nextrip being available. It is exciting to tell you that we recently purchased a new software program that is presently in the testing phase. We hope with the start up of the Green Line in 2014, we will have the ability to have real-time information at platforms. It is our goal to have the next two trains listed with a timed count down for their next arrival. In addition, we expect we will be able to provide notification of whether the service is the Blue or Green Line.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby commissioner » June 19th, 2013, 10:56 pm

Does anyone know how long the bike/walking trail between the DTE station and Cedar riverside is going to be closed for?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby pfreyre » June 20th, 2013, 9:08 am

commissioner wrote:Does anyone know how long the bike/walking trail between the DTE station and Cedar riverside is going to be closed for?
I'm pretty certain it will be closed through most of this year. I don't know if the opening will be late this fall, or next year when the Green Line opens. Just don't hold your breath and expect it to be open this summer.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » June 21st, 2013, 8:15 am

CTIB indicates that Hiawatha's ridership of 10.5 million last year worked out to a per-ride cost of $2.66, with a subsidy of $1.59. That's pretty awesome. Nice to see Hiawatha's ridership growing while simultaneously seeing the cost per rider drop. I think this is the lowest subsidy yet and is approaching a similar level to the highest-use bus lines, no? I recall the 21's per-ride subsidy being somewhere in the same range, though I don't remember where I saw those numbers...

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mattaudio » June 21st, 2013, 8:52 am

So does that mean by extension that the average fare paid was $1.07? How does that work?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby go4guy » June 21st, 2013, 8:56 am

It might take into account taking 2 trips within a certain time frame for the price of one? I'm not sure.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby FISHMANPET » June 21st, 2013, 8:57 am

It's a couple of things. First, if people transfer, the fare they pay is split between the routes they take. I'm not sure how Metro Transit does that split. Also the various discount fares, discount passes, unlimited ride cards, etc etc will lower the average fare paid from $1.75/$2.25.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » June 21st, 2013, 9:13 am

mattaudio wrote:So does that mean by extension that the average fare paid was $1.07? How does that work?
Yes, all the things FISHMANPET mentioned, plus remember that people on Metropasses and the like would be essentially "free" in the sense that there's no easy way to divide their payments among their trips. I was surprised that the average fare paid is that high, actually - to me that indicates that a lot of people are still buying tickets.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » June 22nd, 2013, 9:53 pm

Riding down to see the red line today I got to spend some time looking around the Siemens lrv I was on - 209. Overall I'm impressed with the new cars, but I thought it would be nice to take the time to look them over.

First observation is that internal layout is quite different - probably an improvement because there's more space for standees in the low floor area. The seats facing center on both sides really free up somespace. The bike racks are marginalized, with far less space, but probably have enough, and the space saved again helps with standee space. the "club" seating - a set of four seats facing each other - is gone from the high floor sections, which probably makes sense both for space and for seat longevity since it eliminates a place where people put their feet up. But as a parent I'll miss these because they are great for a family.

Probably the biggest design improvement is the expanded c section - on the bombardiers this essentially became wasted space with some afterthought seats but the Siemens design makes this a bright and welcoming section, minimizing the accordion sections by basically dividing them in half.

A serious problem that I can't believe Siemens would make is the huge gaps under the doors - we aren't talking a crack, but rather a gaping hole. It's an issue for safety, for aesthetics, and for cooling and heating. It makes no sense, on an otherwise thoroughly reviewed project, to have such a blatant failure of design. It's not like they haven't built these before. I assume a fix will come quickly.

Another quirk is the slow and unpredictable door opening. They seem to not all open or close together, and the delay can be so long as to cause people to hit the button - which, oddly enough, they appear to respond to even though they would open automatically in another couple seconds.

Signage is probably better than in the bombardiers, though with sunglasses on I found the lower contrast and lee light of the Siemens internal signs to be a bit harder to read than the internal bombardier signs.

Internal color palette is certainly preferable on the Siemens -though of course we will have to see how it ages.

The drivers appear to have much more room - the bombardiers always look so crowded in there. Space seems to be a theme - all over, the Siemens seem to have more taxable space in the same external dimensions.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby FISHMANPET » June 22nd, 2013, 10:58 pm

Take a close look at the bottom of the doors as they open and close. I think if they extended any farther down they'd hit the platform when they opened. I'm not sure what's different between the old and new cars that made this change necessary, but it's my current theory.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby PhilmerPhil » June 23rd, 2013, 2:50 am

Is it just me, or do the Bombardiers offer a smoother ride? On the Siemens, I feel all wobbly and like I have to hang on tight. I never really noticed it before, but can't help but notice it after I heard some transit police making the observation to each other.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » June 23rd, 2013, 8:29 am

PhilmerPhil wrote:Is it just me, or do the Bombardiers offer a smoother ride? On the Siemens, I feel all wobbly and like I have to hang on tight. I never really noticed it before, but can't help but notice it after I heard some transit police making the observation to each other.
Funny, i kind of thought that but figured it was in my head so didn't mention it.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby UptownSport » June 23rd, 2013, 9:40 am

talindsay wrote:
PhilmerPhil wrote:Is it just me, or do the Bombardiers offer a smoother ride? On the Siemens, I feel all wobbly and like I have to hang on tight. I never really noticed it before, but can't help but notice it after I heard some transit police making the observation to each other.
Funny, i kind of thought that but figured it was in my head so didn't mention it.
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web

Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby web » June 23rd, 2013, 12:43 pm

Aren't the siemens much lighter?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » June 23rd, 2013, 12:48 pm

web wrote:Aren't the siemens much lighter?
Good point, yes. The extra weight of the Bombardiers may well help make a smoother ride.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby planetxan » June 23rd, 2013, 9:21 pm

UptownSport wrote:
talindsay wrote:
PhilmerPhil wrote:Is it just me, or do the Bombardiers offer a smoother ride? On the Siemens, I feel all wobbly and like I have to hang on tight. I never really noticed it before, but can't help but notice it after I heard some transit police making the observation to each other.
Funny, i kind of thought that but figured it was in my head so didn't mention it.
x2
x3

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » June 26th, 2013, 9:07 am

Happy Anniversary to the METRO Blue Line! Nine years ago today the state’s first light-rail line began service between downtown Minneapolis and Fort Snelling.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mister.shoes » June 27th, 2013, 11:16 am

Related to the earlier discussion in this thread about electronic ETA signage: Patent troll that sues public transit systems gets hauled into court

A snippet:
With so many patents out there claiming rights to basic Web-based technologies, at this point there aren't many businesses in America that are unaffected by so-called "patent trolls." But one troll, ArrivalStar, found a fresh set of targets that earned it serious scorn: public transit systems.

Many of its hundreds of lawsuits have ended without much of a fight; King County Metro Transit (Seattle) paid $80,000 to avoid a lengthy and expensive patent lawsuit. Other cities paid similar amounts.

ArrivalStar doesn't want to litigate; it wants fast cash. The company has never taken a case to trial, and last year it admitted it had only seen one case through to the early "claim construction" phase.

Now, after suing hundreds of companies and transit systems, ArrivalStar is finally being challenged by an opponent that won't give up easily. ...
I have absolutely no idea if Metro Transit or one of their vendors is a party to any of these lawsuits, but it's easy to imagine that they might be tangentially related. The whole situation is interesting, to say the least.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » July 6th, 2013, 9:44 am

This why the Blue Line will be shut down several night this week.Metro Transit is grinding the rail to make a smoother ride. The work is being done by Loram Maintenance of Way. Other work will also be done this week during the shutdowns.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » July 6th, 2013, 4:03 pm

Do you know if the equipment was able to get to the Blue Line via rail, or if it had to be trucked in? Loram's located on the CP rail line next to MN-55 out in farmland in Medina (though they still call it Hamel). Oddly right next to that Hennepin County Public Works building...


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