A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

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Anondson
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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Anondson » April 17th, 2019, 2:00 pm

My desire for a better network makes me want this.

The Edina neighborhoods west of Grandview will NIMBY-scream.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby alexschief » April 17th, 2019, 2:23 pm

I don't think extending the A Line is necessarily the right call, given how easy and obvious the 46th St Station is as a bus layover facility.

But I do think that, while it's not the highest priority route, the 46th St corridor should be on any list for future aBRT implementation on its own. The current Route #46 is the third highest ridership "support local" bus that Metro Transit runs, behind only the #23 (38th St) and the #32 (Lowry), with 1,474 weekday riders. That's with service at mostly pretty poor half-hour headways, forty buses in each direction a day. There's a lot of room to improve service on this route, and with the opening of the Orange Line in 2021, a strong excuse to test expanded service.

With any upgrades all the way up to aBRT, however, the #46 route should be adjusted. Already, some jogs are inevitable at Lake Hiawatha and Lake Harriet, but the route takes several further diversions (which I would love Metro Transit to go to war against, systemwide) and eventually peels southeast on Vernon Ave in order to serve the headquarters of UnitedHealth. In looking up the boardings and alightings in this area, I can't see any justification for this destination unfortunately, the numbers are extremely small. A better eventual route might be to continue eastward from 50th St to Interlachen Blvd, then head northward and connect with the future SWLRT Blake Road Station, with the layover just beyond at the Shoppes at Knollwood complex.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Multimodal » April 17th, 2019, 3:41 pm

Increasing the frequency of the 46 sounds like a great way to build up a grid network of transit.

There’s not much density west of Grandview, either along Vernon (until United Health) or along Interlachen/Blake (until you get to Excelsior), both of which are served by the Green Line Extension. So until land use changes (if ever) along those two roads, transit will never be useful or used there.

However, I do like the idea of connecting Grandview with the Green Line, say via Hwy 100 (connecting via Brookside/Alabama would be better & more urban, except for the 2 kinks in the road that would be hard for a big bus to maneuver around). The funny thing is that the streetcar and buses used to go along 44th to Brookside, but that stopped decades ago.

Does Metro Transit have any plans to have small bus feeder transit from nearby nodes (say Grandview to Wooddale & Hwy 7)? Do they do that today along the Green or Blue Lines? As you go further out in the burbs, even first-ring, the harder it gets to connect all the nodes together. Every little node doesn’t need BRT or LRT. How do we get these little nodes to grow if there’s no transit?

Chicken: meet egg.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Multimodal » April 17th, 2019, 3:44 pm

Answering my own question: long-term, I suppose there could be a rail connection between 70th & Cahill, Grandview, and the Green Line.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » April 17th, 2019, 5:29 pm

I was thinking it would make sense for Rt 46 ABRT to go north from Grandview as well. Just take Hwy 100 north to Excelsior/Park Center Blvd, then 36th to the Green Line. Or maybe someday reconnect Wooddale with another bridge over 100 and route it even more direct.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby fehler » April 18th, 2019, 8:41 am

The 46 serves three Minneapolis High Schools (Southwest, Washburn, and Roosevelt), so while i like the idea of interlining the A-Line, I would not like reduced service or limited stopping the 46. Maybe instead of crosstown connection to Edina on 50th, the A Line took 42nd to Cedar and then 66th Ave crosstown.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby amiller92 » April 18th, 2019, 9:30 am

I'm confused how higher frequency and greater capacity is reduced service, especially for Roosevelt, where keeping the existing route wouldn't put it any farther away or Washburn, where it seems pretty easy to make the school route the main route. A BRT stop right outside each high school seems like a great idea for all kinds of reasons.

Southwest is trickier, though. If it was near the end of the line, maybe it wouldn't be terrible to have the route jog up Xerxes to 46th, stop at Southwest and head back down France to 50th. Considering the gap between there and the next place with any density, maybe it terminates somewhere around there, or goes south to Southdale.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Tcmetro » April 18th, 2019, 10:27 am

I think the idea is that local stops are good for high school serving routes or trips, because the longer-distance demand is minimal.

High schools by themselves shouldn't be a big driver of arterial BRT. The demand really only exists at a very specific time in the day.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Multimodal » April 18th, 2019, 12:42 pm

fehler wrote:
April 18th, 2019, 8:41 am
Maybe instead of crosstown connection to Edina on 50th, the A Line took 42nd to Cedar and then 66th Ave crosstown.
Arterial BRT should try to stick to a single arterial per line. There are exceptions of course where roads end because of lakes or land use. If we want any kind of grid system, and I think we do, then these are all distinct corridors that shouldn’t really branch amongst each other:

Franklin
Lake
38th
46th/50th
66th

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby eazydp » April 18th, 2019, 10:23 pm

46, the route I love and hate. I have lived in it's range for 10 years, yet 3/4 of the time I try to use it I end up either walking or finding an alternative due to the 30 minute frequency. It's so painful because it's such a convenient route to Blue line and the 54/future Riverside. There is a large amount of ridership in the stretch from W 7th Street to HP. People may forget it goes there too.

I think overall the route can get really far behind in certain traffic situations as well which can be frustrating. I suppose that is not unique but just exacerbated due to the low frequency... Let's get it to 15 minutes, then focus on the next improvement!

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby MNdible » April 19th, 2019, 8:55 am

Given a finite pot of transit funds, I just don't think I'd prioritize spending on these outlying crosstown routes. I'm sure there's some degree of chicken and egg thing happening here, and I know people love the idea of building out a non-centralized transit system, but... most people still want to go downtown. So spend the money on improving the routes that already have decent ridership.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Anondson » April 19th, 2019, 12:10 pm

No argument to prioritize improving the most used and needed routes.

With the speed and simple costs of studying everything to death before we do transit anything I hope someone keeps some track of the population center that grows at the Ford site and the job center that grows in the United Healthcare campus with and eye at seeing a future extension and having the plan ready.

Our reaction time for even bus transit is kinda nuts.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » April 19th, 2019, 12:44 pm

Count me as someone who uses the 46... to get downtown! It's far more pleasant of a ride to take 46 to Blue Line than it is to take a 14.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby alexschief » April 19th, 2019, 5:55 pm

MNdible wrote:
April 19th, 2019, 8:55 am
Given a finite pot of transit funds, I just don't think I'd prioritize spending on these outlying crosstown routes. I'm sure there's some degree of chicken and egg thing happening here, and I know people love the idea of building out a non-centralized transit system, but... most people still want to go downtown. So spend the money on improving the routes that already have decent ridership.
Without question the #46 corridor would be towards the back of an aBRT roll-out. I suspect it would rank around 15th to 20th. Stay tuned for a future StreetsMN post with a more concrete prioritization method.

All I or anyone else is saying is that MSP should be working towards a scale of aBRT system that includes routes like the #46 corridor.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby Silophant » April 19th, 2019, 7:51 pm

Extremely long-term, aBRT should just be the standard bus route, at least in the urban core.

Short-term, the aBRT rollout order should just be the existing bus routes in descending order of ridership, with obvious corrections like interlining the 10 and the 18 into a single route.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » April 23rd, 2019, 3:43 pm

MNdible wrote:
April 19th, 2019, 8:55 am
Given a finite pot of transit funds, I just don't think I'd prioritize spending on these outlying crosstown routes. I'm sure there's some degree of chicken and egg thing happening here, and I know people love the idea of building out a non-centralized transit system, but... most people still want to go downtown. So spend the money on improving the routes that already have decent ridership.
Like you said, it's a chicken-and-egg problem; most people today want to go downtown because downtown is the easiest (or only) place to get. But there are real, crucial social benefits to having more of the city easily navigable, both in terms of making it easier for Minneapolis and St. Paul residents to live car-free, and in terms of making sure commuters to non-Downtown areas have commuting options other than sitting in traffic and polluting.

And, while it's true that we have a finite pot of transit funds, aBRT is basically just dipping a toe in the pool anyway. We have to keep the cost in perspective here. We're willing to spend five aBRT lines' worth of funds on a fancy mixed-traffic bus on 35W from Burnsville to Downtown. The Gold Line, a bus from Woodbury to Downtown which is anticipated to have 8,000 rides a day, will cost more than all 11 of the existing and planned aBRT routes combined.

This isn't to say I'm opposed to those projects, per se. But if we're talking about the best use of finite transit dollars, building out a comprehensive grid of rapid bus routes covering most of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and certain first-ring suburbs seems pretty transformative to people's lifestyles, and pretty likely to serve a massive number of people, while still being demonstrably not only within our means, but pretty modest by comparison to most of our other investments.

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby MNdible » April 23rd, 2019, 4:13 pm

Capital costs are certainly appealing for aBRT.

It's worth noting that the ongoing costs of running a low-use line at high frequencies are a real and painful thing. You can justify running 10 minute headways when a bus line is getting 10,000 riders a day. Even if the aBRT treatment were to double the ridership of the 46, you'd never be able to sustain those frequencies. I have a hard time imagining a future where the 46 could maintain that level of ongoing investment (and in that imagined future, overall transit ridership has increased so dramatically that the core north-south trunk routes need to be upgraded to subways).

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Re: A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » April 24th, 2019, 8:57 am

tmart wrote:
April 23rd, 2019, 3:43 pm
We're willing to spend five aBRT lines' worth of funds on a fancy mixed-traffic bus on 35W from Burnsville to Downtown.
Mainly a "transit project" that increases highway capacity for single-occupancy commuters. New exit and entrance ramps, removal of choke points, adding of aux lanes, etc. This model was applied for the Red Line BRT to Apple Valley, a low-use bus line where the majority of funds were spent rebuilding and widening a suburban stroad with additional lanes south of 150th St, increased intersection spacing (decreased accessibility for adjacent land uses), and replacing tens of millions of dollars worth of rusting stoplight assemblies. And then we build stations like this https://goo.gl/maps/PhagVymUy3ZvR5D79 with a 1/3 mi walk and a harrowing 10 lane crossing to get between the two platforms of the station.
tmart wrote:
April 23rd, 2019, 3:43 pm
The Gold Line, a bus from Woodbury to Downtown which is anticipated to have 8,000 rides a day, will cost more than all 11 of the existing and planned aBRT routes combined.
That's. Nuts. Torpedo that project. Once that's done, fully fund ABRT for every local bus route.


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