Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby MSPtoMKE » July 2nd, 2013, 1:11 pm

Suffixes were ruled out as a naming/numbering convention because routes already used suffixes to denote different branches, I imagine prefixes would be thought of as too similar to that.

It would be great to convert all "Hi Frequency" routes into aBRT, but the reality is that that would take a long time. They are looking to do about 1 corridor per year, so there would be a long time when there would be no differentiation between a standard route like the 21 and an aBRT route.

I guess calling the Red Line a Metro Line was actually an attempt to reduce the complexity of branding (rather than introduce another BRT brand), but it certainly is not of the same standard. Perhaps it would be better to think of the Red Line as a part of the aBRT network, but that'll never happen.
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby planetxan » July 2nd, 2013, 1:52 pm

I like the idea of letter prefixes, or some way of distinguishing different types of service. The entire express network needs its own branding, maps, and whatnot. Why do they have to tell you there is a rush hour express fare and a non-rush hour express fare when there are maybe two express routes that even operate during non-rush hours? The transit system would be so much easier if those commuter expresses were simply taken off the map and given their own. It would also be easier for the people that use those services to sort out what is available and how to use it.

I believe the Hi-Frequency network was a branding of convenience rather than MetroTransit looking for some long term solution to system efficiency. It may have been what led to the arterial corridors to begin with. But I think it is obvious the two should not coexist, but rather merge.

Another example of branding of convenience is the Free Bus. They are not really concerned about offering this as an integrated piece of the overall transit experience. They just happen to have these buses ending their runs downtown and there is no reason to collect fares on them. So they make it the Free Bus. Hi-Frequency seems to be similar. We've got these buses running frequently on these popular routes, let's promote that without making any changes to way they operate. It is just pointing out something that is already there.

As far as following the example of other cities, keep in mind that transit in the US sucks. There is no reason to emulate suck. We should be looking for a way to surpass them.

If "Hi!" suggests someone saying 'Hi!" what could be wrong with that? What do you think the transit system as it is is saying to most people right now? It is like an ongoing drone of legal disclaimers, instructions and restrictions. It is a confusing, tedious mess. That is the problem to solve. Most places overseas solve this with an actual metro system, rather than a line or two. Most American cities are not currently dense enough to offer that, so we need to think of something else. I am offering the idea of massive simplification and layered systems rather than the be-everything-to-everyone-all-the-time spaghetti mess of a system we have now - one that is welcoming rather than intimidating. One that says hello, or, more colloquially, "Hi!".
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby David Greene » July 2nd, 2013, 1:57 pm

planetxan wrote:I like the idea of letter prefixes, or some way of distinguishing different types of service. The entire express network needs its own branding, maps, and whatnot. Why do they have to tell you there is a rush hour express fare and a non-rush hour express fare when there are maybe two express routes that even operate during non-rush hours? The transit system would be so much easier if those commuter expresses were simply taken off the map and given their own. It would also be easier for the people that use those services to sort out what is available and how to use it.
I agree. However, somehow those various maps would have to include connection information to the other services. For example, the local regular route map would have to show connections to the aBRT system and the express system. Then we'd need something we could print on a two-sided foldable map and make it readable.

I'm sure it's doable but it would be tricky to make it really useful.

It would be fun to try to put something like this together. Maybe in the evening house during the times when the baby naps. :)

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby twincitizen » July 2nd, 2013, 2:31 pm

Transit maps can be sexy and all, but let's not forget that in like 5 years everyone will be using a smartphone to figure out transit.

Excellent point about the rush/non-rush express fares. That is just plain stupid. Especially when any non-rush express route is probably just uber-subsidized in the first place. Probably best to just make them all $3 and make all local trips $2. We are one of the only transit systems in the US that has peak/off-peak fares. I don't know why we're clinging to that...simpler is better.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby FISHMANPET » July 2nd, 2013, 3:53 pm

On the other hand, I'm glad that almost everything is run by one organization, and even for the opt-outs they're still a part of the Metro Transit network. I've tried to figure out transit in areas where the metro area crosses some form of government boundary (county commonly) and it becomes a nightmare. Imagine if there was a Minneapolis Transit 16 that stopped at the border and you had a forced transfer to a St Paul Transit 16?
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby twincitizen » April 14th, 2014, 10:15 am

MNdible wrote:Agreed that the name isn't terribly important, but I liked "Move" from the earlier round of suggestions. It implies both increased mobility and speed, without treading on the "Rapid" sacred ground.

It also has some nice alliterative possibilities: Metro Move.
This topic has been dead for a while, so I thought I'd revive it and get back to the branding discussion.

Despite the whole "rapid" kerfuffle with Dakota County a while back, it is entirely possible that our arterial BRT system won't have a brand name, instead relying on the strength of the "A Line", "B Line"... naming convention. I think that might actually be the right move. We'll have to see how it plays out. Another brand name certainly wasn't going to help simplify the system.

The first 3 lines are now confirmed:
A Line = Snelling
B Line = West 7th (future extension eastward pending)
C Line = Penn
D Line = undetermined, but probably Chicago-Fremont
E Line = probably Lake Street?? Lake and Chicago-Fremont could possibly switch places, but I don't see anything jumping ahead of those two.

That leaves the following from the 2012 aBRT study:

Nicollet-Central (53rd Ave NE to American Boulevard, streetcar would only overlap a 3 mile portion of the 15 mile route)

West Broadway (Metro Transit is starting an alternatives analysis. Could be streetcar or aBRT, but we already know what Minneapolis wants)

Hennepin (probably won't move forward without some dedicated ROW in the mix...political support could be there in Lisa Bender)

Robert Street (scored low...is being studied separately by Ramsey/Dakota Counties)

American Boulevard (scored low...probably not a priority until after SW & Orange Lines are running)

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby Tcmetro » April 14th, 2014, 11:55 am

Nicollet and Central should definitely be in the next group of routes to become arterial BRT. They are pretty slow and have high ridership, and streetcar is complementary instead of competitive. Definitely more important than the other corridors, with perhaps the exception of Hennepin.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby twincitizen » April 14th, 2014, 3:21 pm

Here's the addendum to the extra study that added Penn Ave and converted Chicago to Chicago-Fremont, following completion of the Bottineau AA.
Page 13 of this is the most important: http://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites/ ... dendum.pdf

I think I'm right about the D & E lines being Chicago-Fremont and Lake. The Midtown AA mentioned it being a priority to get Lake running before 2020.
It notes that the downtown east-west transit spine needs to be resolved for Penn and Chi-Fremont to be implemented properly.

Getting Nicollet-Central going again will take some leadership from the City of Minneapolis (or someone else?). That line is crucial. It scored very well in the study and is of regional importance, touching 5 cities (hey just like SWLRT). If we could just get the City to declare that the streetcar won't be expanded beyond the 3-mile starter segment for many, many years...I think that would open people's minds on aBRT for the full corridor.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby Visualizer » April 14th, 2014, 8:58 pm

twincitizen wrote:Transit maps can be sexy and all, but let's not forget that in like 5 years everyone will be using a smartphone to figure out transit.
Pretty sure you'll still need a transit map 5 years from now. To figure out transit. On your phone.
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby FISHMANPET » April 14th, 2014, 9:04 pm

I get super mad when I can''t get a clear map of an entire transit system. Maybe it's just that I'm used to Metro Transit, but I feel like Metro Transit is leaps and bounds ahead of other systems with our website and the information it provides (maps, trip finder, etc).
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby Visualizer » April 14th, 2014, 9:25 pm

My gripe with MetroTransit is that doesn't offer any frequency maps, their system map is a mess and there are no local hub maps. Also their branding is inconsistent.

LA Metro has one of the most cohesive branding systems in the nation: http://www.metro.net/
So does WMATA http://www.wmata.com/
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby FISHMANPET » April 14th, 2014, 9:42 pm

LA and DC are much larger markets than we are. And maybe WMATA has changed since I visited in 2010, but I found it pretty impossible to figure out what buses ran outside my hotel.

But comparing to other places I've been recently, like Seattle (bigger MSA), or Pittsburgh (smaller MSA, but it's got dedicataed Busways and downtown rail tunnels, so it's not a transit blackhole) and I felt like we knocked them out of the park. I've got some friends in San Diego, and I had a hell of a time figuring where the light rail there runs (as far as I can tell/remember, it's run by a completely different agency, with no indication of links between the two).

Maybe it's because we have the Metroplication Council, but I feel like Metro Transit can be a one stop shop for transit information for the area. Plus the name Metro Transit is way better than King County Metro Transit (I'm a tourist, where the hell is King county?) or Port Authority of Allegheny County (I'm a tourist, what the hell is Allegheny county, and where's the port?)
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby Visualizer » April 14th, 2014, 9:50 pm

Seattle is redesigning their whole system. For example, they are currently implementing improved bus-stop signage (bus schedules + line maps + real-time information). http://seattletransitblog.com/2011/09/0 ... top-signs/.
Where's MetroTransit on this?
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby FISHMANPET » April 14th, 2014, 10:00 pm

Yeah, we suck at station signange.

For what it's worth, I took the Cascades from Portland to Seattle, and our hotel was basically right next to the Seattle Transit Tunnel. It's a little bit of a walk, but it's not too hard to get from King St Station to the International District/Chinatown station in the tunnel. With all my map acumen, my smart phone, and a little prior research, I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to get from King St Station to the light rail station.
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby twincitizen » November 10th, 2014, 12:40 pm

aBRT update: A-Line & C-Line: http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/ ... da9714.pdf

With those on track for service in late 2015 and late 2016 respectively, I wonder if we might hear something soon about the D-Line (Chicago-Fremont) and following that, whether the E-Line will be Lake Street or something else... I'm thinking it will not be Lake Street, despite my earlier predictions. There's some additional internal politics to that, regarding if Met Council will actually push for the "dual option" in the Midtown Corridor (rail in the Greenway, aBRT on Lake Street). Something tells me rail in the Greenway will win out, and future bus improvements on Lake Street will have to come incrementally, vs. all in one package via aBRT. That could all change of course, but for now and the foreseeable future, Mike Opat will continue to shit on anything that isn't Bottineau.

Also, you'd imagine that the Robert Street aBRT project, which to this point has been led by Dakota & Ramsey Counties, will eventually be handed off to Metro Transit's Small Starts / aBRT project office. Despite it being a CTIB priority project, it clearly does not meet the criteria to be part of the "METRO" system. At some point the corridor must get folded back into the aBRT group, and you'd think that sanity would prevail and CTIB/Ramsey/Dakota would see the logic in having the same Metro Transit group doing the technical planning of that line.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby mattaudio » November 10th, 2014, 1:24 pm

I don't know what the runtimes would be for Robert aBRT from Downtown St. Paul to 494, but they probably won't be too bad. Given how close 52 and Robert are, I'd hope that someday they'd move any P&R facilities to Robert. Right now there's a P&R at Wentworth and Oakdale, which is between Robert and 52. By moving it closer to Robert, the express buses (452) could still hop to 52 to get downtown, but there would be all-day service to supplement.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby Tcmetro » December 11th, 2014, 4:22 pm

Metro Transit proposing to redirect B Line (W 7th) funds to the C Line (Penn Ave) and a new limited stop service on the East Side of St. Paul.

http://www.metrocouncil.org/METC/files/ ... b7da3d.pdf

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby VAStationDude » December 11th, 2014, 5:03 pm

Please please please do not make this east side limited stop bus an extension of route 54 service.

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby acs » December 11th, 2014, 7:32 pm

VAStationDude wrote:Please please please do not make this east side limited stop bus an extension of route 54 service.
Can I ask why not?

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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby VAStationDude » December 11th, 2014, 8:04 pm

The service is very reliable. Adding thirty minutes of heavy use east of downtown will hurt its on time performance. Though I'll admit the demand profile likely matches pretty darn well both sides of downtown Saint Paul and 110 minutes of run time is long but not super excessive.


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