Arterial Bus Rapid Transit Corridors

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

Postby MSPtoMKE » June 12th, 2013, 12:46 am

Wasn't sure whether to post this in this general Rapid Bus thread or the Snelling Corridor thread, but it seems the presentations for committee meetings have been posted, revealing some branding decisions that have been made. It seems that they have settled on "Direct" as the brand, and it shows the current proposal for the bus color scheme.

Here is a link to one of the presentations (there are multiple versions for the different committees):
https://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites ... resent.pdf

They also have recommended to name them the 'A Line' 'B Line' etc, which I think makes sense. Seattle has the same naming system for RapidRide. The current proposed schedule is Snelling in 2015, W. 7th in 2016, Penn in 2017, and Chicago/Fremont in 2018. The bus color scheme shown is on the New Flyer Xcelsior series, both 40' and 60' versions, which is nice (especially the 3 door 60' version). I assume that isn't final and they need to be put out to bid, but since Gillig doesn't make articulated buses, they are kind of out of the running. I assume they would look at Nova as well, since it is already used for the Red Line.
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 7:05 am

Wow, that color scheme is...busy.

From my read of the presentation they haven't settled on a branding yet. I think "Direct" was perhaps put on the bus graphic by mistake.

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

Postby mulad » June 12th, 2013, 8:30 am

Seemed to me like they had pretty much decided on "Direct" after following this diagram all the way around (counter-clockwise).
enhanced-bus-branding-533x400.jpg
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby twincitizen » June 12th, 2013, 8:59 am

•72% of existing customers at stations
•97% of customers within 1 stop of a station

^Now those are some interesting statistics. Makes it sound like the "Metro Transit Direct A-line" (now that's a mouthful!) could actually replace the Route 84, without any need to still run local buses every 30 minutes or whatever. Out of the 3% of existing riders that are not within 1 stop of a station, what percentage of them are physically incapable of getting to a station? The number has to be pretty small. Small enough that it would probably make sense to have them use Metro Mobility, rather than overlaying mostly empty local buses every 30 minutes all day long.

Assuming they name the lines in order of implementation, we're looking at

A: Snelling
B: West 7th (and eventually east 7th)
C: Penn
D: Chicago-Emerson-Fremont

No real missed opportunities for making the letters mean anything. It is still baffling that Hennepin is not being pushed along. I wonder what the excuse for that is. Frankly, they should start coordinating the Hennepin aBRT "Direct" line planning with the Nicollet streetcar line. Once the streetcar shifts to Hennepin near the library, the lines could share stations and dedicated lanes on the Hennepin Avenue bridge.

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

Postby RailBaronYarr » June 12th, 2013, 12:57 pm

I agree Hennepin being left out seems odd, and not being proactive with a Broadway rapid bus since they've picked the Blue Line extension routing also seems odd. Since these are much faster/cheaper investments you'd think they could crank more of these corridors than they're giving themselves credit for...

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 1:17 pm

mulad wrote:Seemed to me like they had pretty much decided on "Direct" after following this diagram all the way around (counter-clockwise).
I wondered about that too, but then slide 29 implies they don't have a name yet.

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 1:21 pm

twincitizen wrote:Out of the 3% of existing riders that are not within 1 stop of a station, what percentage of them are physically incapable of getting to a station?
Remember that people had to get to those stops in the first place, which could involve a not insignificant travel distance.

Are there barriers between those "one stops" on a station?

I think the on-the-ground reality is a little more complicated than what's presented in the slides.

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 1:22 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:I agree Hennepin being left out seems odd, and not being proactive with a Broadway rapid bus since they've picked the Blue Line extension routing also seems odd.
Broadway, at least, is waiting on the streetcar study, which makes sense.

I have no idea why Hennepin is delayed.

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

Postby twincitizen » June 12th, 2013, 2:20 pm

David, that may make sense on paper, given that a streetcar was more or less "promised" after it was decided not to run LRT on Penn. However, the promising was done by Don Samuels, Rybak, etc. (i.e. people who won't be in power much longer) and not Met Council.

Look at how long the development of the Nicollet-Central starter line is taking. How many phases will that be built in? Probably not gonna make it south of I-94 in Phase One, given that it would require a bridge replacement. How many phases of a Washington-Broadway streetcar would it take to even reach Broadway-Penn, let alone Robbinsdale to meet up with the Blue Line? The starter segment would likely be along Washington from Hennepin to Broadway, maybe a bit longer (pure speculation on my part, but somewhat based on reality and available funding mechanisms)

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

Postby MNdible » June 12th, 2013, 2:53 pm

twincitizen wrote:Look at how long the development of the Nicollet-Central starter line is taking. How many phases will that be built in? Probably not gonna make it south of I-94 in Phase One, given that it would require a bridge replacement.


That bridge is due to get a re-decking treatment anyway, so I don't think this will be a deal-breaker. Everything I've read indicates that it will run to Lake Street in the first phase.

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

Postby twincitizen » June 12th, 2013, 3:12 pm

Except for that whole TIF business, which doesn't go any further south than the Convention Center's meter farm. Doesn't that worry you just a tiff?

You're right about the bridge though, it is due for replacement/re-decking regardless. Hopefully MNDOT pays for the car-related portion of that and the streetcar budget is only assigned the appurtenant costs to supporting its weight and tracks.

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

Postby mattaudio » June 12th, 2013, 3:20 pm

But we all know that capital improvement budgets for transit should go towards subsidizing infrastructure for cars, right? You know, the SWLRT freight issue which was really a cost avoid from the Hiawatha/Lake grade separation. Or the rebuilding of University Avenue. Or widening Cedar Avenue in Apple Valley and Lakeville. So it would just make sense to siphon transit dollars to help MnDOT afford to fix an aging bridge over Interstate 94.

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

Postby Nick » June 12th, 2013, 3:29 pm

mulad wrote:Seemed to me like they had pretty much decided on "Direct" after following this diagram all the way around (counter-clockwise).
enhanced-bus-branding-533x400.jpg
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Re: Arterial Transit Corridor Study ("rapid bus")

Postby ECtransplant » June 12th, 2013, 7:49 pm

The lack of good transit connecting uptown and downtown, namely down Hennepin, is my personal biggest annoyance with the transit system

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 8:20 pm

ECtransplant wrote:The lack of good transit connecting uptown and downtown, namely down Hennepin, is my personal biggest annoyance with the transit system
Not to be too snarky, but if this is your biggest problem with the system, you're pretty damned fortunate. The transit service on Hennepin is pretty good compared to most everywhere else. There are people in heavily transit-dependent areas that take three buses and 1-2 hours to get to work every day.

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

Postby mattaudio » June 12th, 2013, 8:25 pm

Are those people working downtown or in a transit-friendly node? My guess is the reason why transit-dependent folks may have to take 3 buses and 1-2 commute hours each way is about 10% lacking transit network and 90% businesses choosing to locate in transit-hostile locations.

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 9:06 pm

There are very few transit-friendly nodes, which is my point.

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

Postby RailBaronYarr » June 12th, 2013, 9:18 pm

^ This is my thought. How long and how many buses would someone along Hennepin and 28th to get out to EP (answer: 2 buses and 1.5 hours)? It seems like the poor transit service has less to do with the availability of options and frequency getting downtown and more to do with the mismatch of where the residents work and where the jobs are.

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

Postby FISHMANPET » June 12th, 2013, 9:33 pm

We've built a lot of crappy employment centers, but I'd agree that Uptown is a node that needs a good connection to Downtown. From an Urbanism perspective Uptown has ticked all the boxes of a good place. It's on a grid, it's well connected to the grid, it's got a heterogeneous mix of residential and retail, including groceries. It's a good walkable urban neighborhood, and it deserves a good connection other important regional nodes, including and especially Downtown.

While a streetcar down Hennepin would be nice, I don't think Hennepin necessarily needs the economic development that is sometimes claimed with a streetcar, it needs a faster way to get between the two Nodes, with some intermediate stops along the way.

"Direct" bus service would be an improvement, and I think speeding up the 6 would be a good thing, but only if it's done in a way that makes it easy to get a dedicated transit lane. If a bus going down Hennepin could go faster than traffic in rush hour, I think that could be a game changer. But you'd probably have to take a lane or parking, and that would be like pulling teeth.

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

Postby David Greene » June 12th, 2013, 10:05 pm

RailBaronYarr wrote:^ This is my thought. How long and how many buses would someone along Hennepin and 28th to get out to EP (answer: 2 buses and 1.5 hours)? It seems like the poor transit service has less to do with the availability of options and frequency getting downtown and more to do with the mismatch of where the residents work and where the jobs are.
This is of course all right on. ECtransplant stated that his biggest annoyance with the system is going downtown on Hennepin. My point is that relatively speaking, that corridor is miles and miles ahead of other routes that people want to take. It's a matter of priority. Where do we spend our money? I don't think upgrading service on Hennepin should be priority #1.


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