Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT)

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talindsay
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » May 3rd, 2013, 1:08 pm

Yes, I've written big segments of that article. [EDIT: I actually haven't written much of the Hiawatha article; it's the articles on Central and the MT Rolling Stock that I contributed a significant amount to.] I'm glad to see this set of changes coming; I am a little sad to see them dropping rush-hour frequency to 10 minutes but of course we all anticipated that: three-car trains on 10-minute headways have both higher capacity and lower costs than two-car trains on 7.5-minute headways (18 cars per hour per direction instead of 16, but six drivers instead of 8). I am a bit surprised that they're going to continue running the trains as three-car sets all day, since this will certainly give a lot of excess capacity during those hours, but I suppose the slight energy savings of two-car trains would be swallowed up by the efficiency loss of having to decouple and recouple cars twice.

VAStationDude
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » May 3rd, 2013, 1:39 pm

I don't have a cite but I remember reading during the platform extension project three car trains have 10% higher operation costs than two car. So six sets per hour vs the current eight is something close to twenty percent savings. Employee scheduling should also be streamlined. Operators starting and ending their shift on inservice trains at Franklin is much more efficient than some of the dead heading involved with shifting to and from three car sets. Wise business decision for Metro Transit, imo.

MNdible
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MNdible » May 3rd, 2013, 1:51 pm

I'd expect the primary downside of this plan is the extra wear-and-tear on the cars. They need to be overhauled when they hit mileage benchmarks, so running a train mostly empty is going to accelerate this expensive maintenance, and also likely shorten their ultimate lifespan (in years, not miles).

However, since capital costs are typically covered by federal grants and operating costs are covered locally...

VAStationDude
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » May 3rd, 2013, 2:16 pm

Always so cynical, Mr. MNdible ;-)

I would add trains tend to be pretty full from 6:30 to 9:00 and from 1:30 until 6. At least that's my observation. Between 9:00 and 11:30 can be really dead. Just this morning I rode a very empty train from that arrived downtown at little after 9. There couldn't have been more than 25 people on the front car of a two car set. However, the two car train I just took left Nicollet at 2:23 was pretty packed. /rant If people weren't such idiots and refrained from standing by the doors when seats are available, the trains would run on time /rant

talindsay
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » May 3rd, 2013, 2:28 pm

I'm one of those idiots who will almost always stand - one reason I dramatically prefer rail over bus is the fact that on a bus you basically have to sit down if you can, whereas on a train you can stand. It's irrational, probably, but if I'm allowed to stand, I will, even if the train is empty.

VAStationDude
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby VAStationDude » May 3rd, 2013, 2:48 pm

It's not the standing that is idiotic, its clogging up the doors with your person and bags. My mini rant was prompted by a couple of college aged women who wheeled suitcases bigger than them on the train and proceeded to stand at the doors. Standing by the doors isn't a crime or at all inconsiderate if you're smart about it, which I am sure you are.

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby twincitizen » May 3rd, 2013, 2:50 pm

The other component of reducing peak frequency from 7.5-min to 10-min headways could have something to do with the Green Line. It's possible that the 5th St "downtown commons" segment simply cannot support trains running every 3.75 minutes, in each direction. Assuming Green Line also tops out at 10-min headways, there will be a train running in each direction every 5 minutes. I think there will need to be some changes to signal timing (and train schedule timing) just to make that whole dance work.

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woofner
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby woofner » May 3rd, 2013, 3:14 pm

Where are you guys getting the 7.5 min headways? It seems like the existing schedule mostly has 9 or 10 minute headways, for an average of 9.5 (for example Warehouse District station has 22 SB trains stopping during the 210 minute PM peak, for a 9.54 minute average headway). There seem to be only a few short points on the schedule at which the headways are 7.5 minutes (which is dumb, but makes this frequency cut less painful).
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talindsay
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » May 3rd, 2013, 3:51 pm

At the peak of usage before the three-car upgrade, the AM and PM peak headways were almost all 7.5 minutes; since the station upgrade completed they started running a couple three-car trainsets and adjusted the schedule to provide fewer short headways, and I guess they've adjusted it further (though I haven't looked at the exact times in a little while). Anyway, the point is that the all-two-car schedule was dominated by 7.5, and as three-car consists have come online they've gone away. This most recent shift is only finally acknowledging an end to the shorter headways and a conversion to all three-car service.

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Nick
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Nick » May 3rd, 2013, 4:21 pm

talindsay wrote:I'm one of those idiots who will almost always stand - one reason I dramatically prefer rail over bus is the fact that on a bus you basically have to sit down if you can, whereas on a train you can stand. It's irrational, probably, but if I'm allowed to stand, I will, even if the train is empty.
Loosely related/hilarious:

http://gawker.com/5950925/forcing-your- ... ble-advice

talindsay
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby talindsay » May 3rd, 2013, 9:37 pm

Nick wrote: Loosely related/hilarious:

http://gawker.com/5950925/forcing-your- ... ble-advice
That blog is all kinds of awesome.

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Nick
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby Nick » May 3rd, 2013, 9:57 pm

I. Love. Caity. Weaver. Anywho, buses and such...

MSPtoMKE
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » May 10th, 2013, 11:34 pm

Well, this is a little easier on the eyes:
https://www.metrotransit.org/blue-line-map

(I can't post the GIANT original map that is a whopping 1062 pixels high, and this is the largest version I can upload... Can we do something about that?)
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kellonathan
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby kellonathan » May 11th, 2013, 4:37 pm

This looks definitely easier on the eyes compared to the previous one with a thick red line.

I'd just like to add some thoughts about branding and information hierarchies/designs from the map here.

Maybe I am just nitpicking about the things don't really matter to most of the users, but I don't really get why they had to put a word "Station" for each station on the map. The text looks really crowded for me, especially around the downtown Mpls area--- mostly b/c of longer station names + and the word "Station" for each station.

Overall, it looks 'alright' to me. Good enough to be used, but not really impressive that I would want to have a printed version of the map to hang on my wall. This and the METRO system map rather feels somewhat clumsy and not refined. While I feel that the Blue Line map has too much information (some of the streets and highways, separating bus connections by operators, somewhat too much geographically correct), the METRO system map feels pretty empty.

(Since I don't think we are going to have that many chances to rebrand our system and redesign all the signages/maps accordingly, maybe I just want the new map to be somewhat 'perfect' and long-lasting.)
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seanrichardryan
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby seanrichardryan » May 11th, 2013, 4:38 pm

Station Station Station! My thought exactly.
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twincitizen
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby twincitizen » May 21st, 2013, 1:45 pm

Although the Blue Line no longer carries a route number, it is coded as 901 on Metro Transit's website, as they still need an internal number for data collection purposes, etc.

http://metrotransit.com/Schedules/WebSc ... ?route=901

mulad
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » May 21st, 2013, 7:26 pm

Eh. I don't see the point of that. Whatever, I guess.

The MyNexTrip app on Android appears to work alright with the 901 number -- the LRT just shows up waaay down on the bottom of the list (below Northstar at 888). It also shows 906 for the overnight shuttle between the two airport terminals. That used to be 56, though you'd usually only get it to show up in the late-night hours. 906 was showing up at 8 pm for me.

MSPtoMKE
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby MSPtoMKE » May 22nd, 2013, 6:15 pm

It is weird that the Siemens LRVs have had the blue square on the destination signs since they were introduced, but the Bombardiers are still showing route 55 after the rebranding that was supposed to take effect over the weekend. I appreciate that it will take time to change signage, but you would think that it would be relatively easy to change the electronic destination signs to alternate between "Blue Line" and "Mall of America" or "Target Field". And speaking of outdated signage, the last time I looked there were still signs at the downtown stations showing which track went in the direction of Warehouse District/Hennepin Ave...
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jet777
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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby jet777 » May 23rd, 2013, 9:09 am

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?

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Re: Blue Line (Hiawatha)

Postby mulad » May 23rd, 2013, 10:12 am

My entirely speculative theory has been that there's some licensing or patent issue with the software that controls the signs, and someone wants to charge a ridiculous sum of money to allow it.


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