Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

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twincitizen
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Re: D Line - Chicago-Fremont/Emerson Rapid Bus

Postby twincitizen » March 6th, 2019, 3:28 pm

While it sometimes feels like the D Line is imminent (8th Street reconstruction this year, Portland 60th-66th re-striping next year,etc), the realist in me is reminded of how long the A Line and C Line have taken to get from "hey it looks like everything is built" to actually beginning passenger service (June 2016 and June 2019 respectively). While the D Line stations are scheduled to be built in "2020-2021" according to the project website, that makes me think the die is already set for a June 2022 opening, and that's if everything goes well. With 2019 being dedicated to engineering, getting all of the stations built out in 2020 and the line opening mid-late 2021 seems like a moonshot. Especially since this line still isn't fully funded.

As a general aBRT thought, opening a new line every 3 years isn't that slow of a pace, as much as we like to whine around here. That's actually pretty good, in the abstract. The real problem is that we didn't open the first one until 2016, after studying aBRT in 2011. Getting a new aBRT line every 3 years would be a great thing if the first one had opened in 2010, not 2016. As it is, we really need to pick up the pace on planning the lines that will come after the D, B and E Lines. In addition to those 3 lines opening in 2022, 2023(?) and 2024 (in a perfect world), the next 3 lines should be opened annually as well. '8 by 2028' would be a good goal.

mattaudio
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Re: D Line - Chicago-Fremont/Emerson Rapid Bus

Postby mattaudio » March 6th, 2019, 3:43 pm

What lines come after the ones that are planned through the original study?

Silophant
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby Silophant » March 6th, 2019, 4:08 pm

If it were up to me, they'd just go down the list of highest ridership routes. So, after the DBE Lines, the F Line should be Nicollet-Central (hopefully we can stop pretending the streetcar will happen), then it's time to give the by then 15-year-old aBRT study the boot and move on to the 2, 3, and 4.

Multimodal
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby Multimodal » March 6th, 2019, 4:16 pm

Silophant wrote:If it were up to me, they'd just go down the list of highest ridership routes. So, after the DBE Lines, the F Line should be Nicollet-Central (hopefully we can stop pretending the streetcar will happen), then it's time to give the by then 15-year-old aBRT study the boot and move on to the 2, 3, and 4.
In a perfect world, there’d be money not only for converting the highest ridership existing routes, but also planning new routes that would help create an extensive grid of routes that would allow people to get to current and (re-)developing areas, covering a wide swath of the Twin Cities.

A network of interconnecting routes that could replace car travel, rather than only a hub-and-spoke system.

twincitizen
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby twincitizen » March 6th, 2019, 4:52 pm

Quoting myself from the previous page, these are the remaining 5 from the initial study. I laid out the reasons why they may or may not still be considered for aBRT. Broadway would be a super obvious candidate if not for that pesky streetcar study. Nicollet-Central should be happening no matter what happens with that streetcar plan, due to the vast difference in route length. Heck, it should have been the first line...it scored highest after all.
twincitizen wrote:
February 21st, 2019, 3:43 pm
(6) Regardless of whether the streetcar is dead or not, I'm sure we're all hoping that Nicollet-Central aBRT will be revived by Metro Transit in the next few years. The streetcar was only ever going to serve a small portion of the route, while aBRT was planned to stretch from 494 to 694 (and beyond...hey a true "regional" project!)
(7) Then there's Robert Street, which will presumably get studied again at some point...it was a very high priority for CTIB, and likely remains one among Ramsey and Dakota County Commissioners.
(8) American Boulevard, which came up relatively weak in the initial study, will always have a political constituency, and possibly someday an actual ridership constituency, as a link between Southwest Transit Station (Green), Southtown (Orange), and MOA (Blue/Red). We don't need it now, but something to think about for 2030ish.
(9) I'm not sure what to make of East 7th. At least for the next 10-15+ years it will be the beneficiary of the Route 54 extension. Once Riverview is up and running as LRT/streetcar, and Rush BRT is duplicating some of the functions of East 7th aBRT, it's tough to say whether/how this half-segment of the current 54 could be a viable aBRT route by itself.
(10) Ok I totally forgot about West Broadway, but the City somewhat recently did another separate study with a result that was so confusing I haven't heard a word about it since the study ended. What was the mode choice even? Streetcar maybe kinda but probably gonna revert to aBRT?? Who even knows.
But yes, it would make sense to look at the 2, 3, 4 and the highest ridership St. Paul routes next. The 63 and/or 74 would seem a good candidate from a geographic perspective, and would have connections with the A Line. A Rice-Robert Street line is almost too obvious, as a north-south spine to intersect with the Green Line.

Going beyond just existing local routes, a Washington Avenue aBRT line is pretty obvious too, connecting North Minneapolis, North Loop, Gateway, Mill District and Seven Corners. That could continue down Cedar Ave as part of a longer route. A route like that could make a lot of sense and not directly overlap any existing service. It would largely be a straightened-out hybrid of the 14 & 22.

tmart
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Re: D Line - Chicago-Fremont/Emerson Rapid Bus

Postby tmart » March 6th, 2019, 4:59 pm

twincitizen wrote:
March 6th, 2019, 3:28 pm
As a general aBRT thought, opening a new line every 3 years isn't that slow of a pace, as much as we like to whine around here. That's actually pretty good, in the abstract. The real problem is that we didn't open the first one until 2016, after studying aBRT in 2011. Getting a new aBRT line every 3 years would be a great thing if the first one had opened in 2010, not 2016. As it is, we really need to pick up the pace on planning the lines that will come after the D, B and E Lines. In addition to those 3 lines opening in 2022, 2023(?) and 2024 (in a perfect world), the next 3 lines should be opened annually as well. '8 by 2028' would be a good goal.
IMO there are basically two ways of looking at aBRT: either it's an incredibly watered-down LRT/BRT project, or a suite of meaningful but incremental service improvements that have been bundled together and sold as if they were a BRT/LRT-style transitway capital project. In my opinion, neither one paints a super flattering picture.

If it's the former, getting the timeline down to 3 years seems like a bit of a Pyrrhic victory, since it came at the cost of removing the dedicated guideway, the stations, and basically any capital improvements other than some marginally-fancier shelters with curb bumpouts and acquiring some new vehicles that are nominally exclusive to these lines.

If it's the latter, it raises the question of why we have to jump through this entire 3 year process to begin with. What do we accomplish here that we couldn't accomplish by choosing a kinda-sorta-similar existing bus route and redesigning/improving it? Why do we need to wait for a street reconstruction to do things like adjust stop spacing, increase frequency, rename a line with a letter, print nice new maps, and all-door boarding? Why not roll those things out for a critical mass of the high-frequency network ASAP, then implement capital improvements to shelters and vehicles and off-board fare kiosks per-line as the right times come up?

To be clear, I like these lines and I think the end result is good. But I think it's absolutely reasonable to be critical of the process and the timelines when the nature of the project is so different from, say, SWLRT.

Multimodal
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby Multimodal » March 6th, 2019, 10:07 pm

Perhaps another way of looking at aBRT is like looking at the evolution of a road.

A path becomes a country road which becomes a 2-land county road which becomes a state road and then perhaps a federal highway. It’s incremental.

There are local trains, commuter trains, intercity trains, & high speed rail.

If aBRT becomes successful, it could lead to further infrastructure changes, and perhaps dedicated ROW if it can usurp the role of cars.

We don’t have to go from local bus service to LRT in one fell swoop.

alexschief
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby alexschief » April 9th, 2019, 8:17 am

minneboom wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 7:47 pm
B Line meetings coming up soon.

https://www.metrotransit.org/b-line-meetings
I hadn't noticed (until I was corrected on Twitter) that the B-Line planning scope has been expanded to include Selby and downtown St. Paul.

I hope that anyone who attends these meetings will press for the project to include that corridor. To me, it's a no-brainer. Ending the line in downtown St. Paul, a major employment, entertainment, and residential node, should be a clear priority. In-between, the Selby section of the line contributes 2,750 weekday riders to the #21. That's a significant number, even if ridership on that stretch is below the average for the rest of the line, it's still a high ridership corridor by system-wide standards. Moreover, this is a corridor that was formerly redlined, and today Selby forms the southern border of Met-Council designated Racially Concentrated Areas of Poverty. There is a practical and moral case for aBRT service down the Selby corridor. If you go to this meeting, please speak up about it.

It's more of an open question to me as to whether the B-Line should even jog to meet the Green Line at University. Personally, I've found that turn to be pretty irritating when you're on the #21, but I don't know what the data says about people transferring, it might be worth it.

mamundsen
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby mamundsen » April 9th, 2019, 12:07 pm

If I'm reading this correctly, the Snelling and University intersection could soon be home to Green, A, AND B lines? It's just a question of if this is the end of the B line or if it continues on to St Paul. This intersection and surrounding areas needs some serious upgrades!

Minnehahaha
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Re: Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

Postby Minnehahaha » April 9th, 2019, 5:09 pm

It's too bad they can't accelerate the long-term plan (if it is still being considered) for extending Shields Ave. through what's left of Midway Center and across to Hamline Ave. It's close enough for B Line (and Route 21) to Green Line connections but out of University Avenue traffic.


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