Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » February 14th, 2013, 10:01 am

The nice thing about a dedicated app (I use MyNexTrip for Android) is that it can use a lightweight protocol for communicating with Metro Transit's servers. The web page can be pretty hefty (relatively speaking). The downside is that it doesn't catch some of the rider alert messages that pop up on the website -- but really, Metro Transit should expand their API to include that info.

The NexTrip API could also get expanded to allow a way to submit some GPS coordinates and get back a list of stops nearby, or include GPS coordinates when stop lists are generated, but that info can probably get downloaded from datafinder.org.

Google Maps also uses WiFi for determining your location by scanning nearby access points. It's often a lot faster than GPS, and can be more accurate. But that's a proprietary Google database, as far as I know -- I doubt it could be used by Metro Transit's web app or by on-phone apps by independent developers (though there are alternative WiFi location databases out there too).

I've poked at making my own NexTrip app for Android, but keep getting distracted by other things.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Tcmetro » February 14th, 2013, 11:56 am

There is an app for Android called "MyNexTrip Metro Transit" or something. It basically takes the NexTrip data and puts it into an Android interface. It also allows searching of bus stops by ID number. There are some shortcomings, but it is basically all that there is out there at this time, and it does what it does quite well.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby FISHMANPET » February 14th, 2013, 5:55 pm

I think app wise the best thing would be if transit providers could agree on a standard for providing information on stop location, routes, next arriving bus, etc etc. Then any number of vendors on any platform could write their own client to access this data.

I would gladly pay money for an app that gave me access to transit data in an awesome transit provider supported way.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Nathan » February 25th, 2013, 4:27 pm

A guy I know produced this video for Metro Transit, probably the best LRT ride along video I've seen for mpls...

http://vimeo.com/35285030

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » February 25th, 2013, 6:59 pm

fotoapparatic wrote:A guy I know produced this video for Metro Transit, probably the best LRT ride along video I've seen for mpls...

http://vimeo.com/35285030
You realize that they are going backwards. Looks like they put the camera in the rear train and just reverse the video.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Nathan » February 26th, 2013, 10:56 am

LRV Op Dude wrote:
fotoapparatic wrote:A guy I know produced this video for Metro Transit, probably the best LRT ride along video I've seen for mpls...

http://vimeo.com/35285030
You realize that they are going backwards. Looks like they put the camera in the rear train and just reverse the video.
haha yeah, it took me a bit to realize why they were stopping on the wrong side of the platform, but still a better view than most people's cell phone camera ride-a-longs...

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSP » March 2nd, 2013, 12:26 pm

It looks like Hiawatha will get more pedestrian friendly. Bumpouts in many places too.

http://www.minnehaha-hiawatha.com/crossings

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » March 2nd, 2013, 4:46 pm

The changes to 28th and 46th look great, and are much-needed. I'm not sure the improvements to 42nd are going to do much; 35th and 38th both have such larger challenges stemming from the pedestrian-hostile nature of the east side (rail yards, industrial uses, etc.) that while I think the minor changes at those two can't hurt, I wouldn't expect them to help in a meaningful way at all. 32nd, in my opinion, should be removed as a crossing anyway - it's so close to Lake that the ramps to and from Lake actually conflict with the intersection, there's very little cross traffic anyway, and again the industrial uses on the east side hamper its use for pedestrians.

Honestly though, if they can improve 28th and 46th (and these plans look great for both) then I don't really care what they do elsewhere - those too are so bad for no good reason, and they both hinder what could be very active pedestrian areas. This is good news!

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » March 2nd, 2013, 7:23 pm

These are welcome improvements, but they could do more. For one thing, there should be a Hiawatha crossing on both sides of 46th. Fewer channelized turns would be nice as well.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Moderato » March 4th, 2013, 11:39 pm

One problem I see at 46th is that some peds from the station don't bother walking to intersection to cross in the first place. They cross about 20 meters to the north. Maybe to get straight to Walgreens or maybe because they're heading north after they cross anyway and don't want to back track.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » March 15th, 2013, 10:21 pm

In keeping with the much improved audio on the Siemens trains, the irritating and loud beep before platform announcements has been replaced with a much more subtle tone. I checked my phone for a text the first time I heard it this evening. The Siemens trains also have a slightly less irritating warning bell.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » March 16th, 2013, 10:16 am

Yeah, I noticed that the other day. It sounded like they just picked a couple of random .wav files from Windows or Mac OS -- or perhaps some ring tones, but yes, they're much less annoying.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MNdible » March 16th, 2013, 10:56 am

So you're saying it's not too late for our Funkytown chime?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » April 6th, 2013, 11:24 am

Anyone know anything about this:

"Downtown Minneapolis Station Area Improvements – Project #62216
This amendment provides $1,280,000 in Federal Funds and $220,000 in RTC Funds to add
a platform for the Blue Line at the Nicollet Mall Station. This project is identified in the
CIP."


It is from this page 2 of this Transportation Committee report:
http://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meeting ... bined.aspx

The most logical place to put another platform would be along the north side sidewalk, where Nic on 5th is being built. But that doesn't seem like it would be very useful until Southwest is built.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » April 6th, 2013, 12:47 pm

MSPtoMKE wrote:Anyone know anything about this:

"Downtown Minneapolis Station Area Improvements – Project #62216
This amendment provides $1,280,000 in Federal Funds and $220,000 in RTC Funds to add
a platform for the Blue Line at the Nicollet Mall Station. This project is identified in the
CIP."


It is from this page 2 of this Transportation Committee report:
http://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meeting ... bined.aspx

The most logical place to put another platform would be along the north side sidewalk, where Nic on 5th is being built. But that doesn't seem like it would be very useful until Southwest is built.


I have heard rumors about the new platform going there. I have not been able to confirm them.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » April 6th, 2013, 7:00 pm

I wonder if the met council will go with full platform amenities or make the new north platform exit only for trains going west. Personally I like an exit only platform. Without tvms and shelters the cost would be less. LRT riders transferring to Nicollet buses wouldn't have to cross the tracks and the sidewalk won't become a paid fare zone. (Though a line on the sidewalk could separate transit waiting area from the side walk - what a brilliant idea ;-) ) Asking LRT users who walk from the center of downtown to cross both tracks probably isn't the best plan.My personal observations have led me to conclude people leaving the LRT are many times better at rail safety than people getting on the train. A single boarding platform is also less confusing.Once on the platform riders can determine what train to get on rather than having to cross a track if they're in the wrong place.


Of course the center platform might be so crowded in the afternoons dual boarding platforms might be the only option. Though removing some exiting customers would mitigate the crowding and speed boarding for west bound trains.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » April 6th, 2013, 7:09 pm

Oh and Hiawatha pedestrian improvement construction is scheduled for July, according to mndot.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » April 7th, 2013, 2:33 pm

VAStationDude wrote:I wonder if the met council will go with full platform amenities or make the new north platform exit only for trains going west. Personally I like an exit only platform. Without tvms and shelters the cost would be less.
I would rather have them build a full station. People still board the train to go to Warehouse and Target Field and when Southwest come on line there is not additional build required. I do hope they put in a sidewalk heater for the winter.
LRT riders transferring to Nicollet buses wouldn't have to cross the tracks and the sidewalk won't become a paid fare zone. (Though a line on the sidewalk could separate transit waiting area from the side walk - what a brilliant idea ;-) )
They don't seem to have a problem at Government Station
My personal observations have led me to conclude people leaving the LRT are many times better at rail safety than people getting on the train.
I would differ with you. I observe (from operating cab) people are less rail safety when getting off. People running, walking and just not paying attention as they cross in front of the train. Even when "Don't Walk signs and bells are sounding.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby LRV Op Dude » May 3rd, 2013, 12:29 pm

Beginning Saturday, May 18
Attention Hiawatha Line customers!

Effective May 18, the Hiawatha Line will become the METRO Blue Line. The change is part of a larger effort to brand and identify the region’s developing network of light-rail transit (LRT) and bus-rapid transit (BRT).

We’re now transitioning Hiawatha Line and Route 55 references in marketing materials and on this website. Customers will begin to see METRO Blue Line signage at rail stations over this summer.

Other color names for LRT and BRT service in the metro area will be:
• Red Line: Cedar Avenue BRT (opens June 22)
• Green Line: Central Corridor LRT (opens mid-2014)
• Orange Line: I-35W BRT (anticipated opening 2018)

• Three-car trains will be operated during rush hours and the midday.
• Service will change to every 10 minutes during rush hours.
• Schedule times will be adjusted.
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby twinkess » May 3rd, 2013, 12:47 pm

LRV Op Dude wrote:Beginning Saturday, May 18
Attention Hiawatha Line customers!

Effective May 18, the Hiawatha Line will become the METRO Blue Line. The change is part of a larger effort to brand and identify the region’s developing network of light-rail transit (LRT) and bus-rapid transit (BRT).

We’re now transitioning Hiawatha Line and Route 55 references in marketing materials and on this website. Customers will begin to see METRO Blue Line signage at rail stations over this summer.

Other color names for LRT and BRT service in the metro area will be:
• Red Line: Cedar Avenue BRT (opens June 22)
• Green Line: Central Corridor LRT (opens mid-2014)
• Orange Line: I-35W BRT (anticipated opening 2018)

• Three-car trains will be operated during rush hours and the midday.
• Service will change to every 10 minutes during rush hours.
• Schedule times will be adjusted.
Nice. I updated the Wiki article to show the date of the switch. I notice talindsay is also a contributor to that article! :-)


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