Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby mattaudio » October 24th, 2014, 8:38 am

The more I think about this, the more I'm frustrated about a lack of service improvement on the 14. The 11 gets 15 minute service sandwiched between the 5 and the 18, but us 14 riders are stuck with 30 minute headways south of 38th Street? The 11 is only 3/8 of a mile to the high frequency 5 and 18 routes, whereas the 14 is a half mile east of the 5 without any usable service until you get a full mile east to the 22, which is ALSO getting 15 minute service.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby twincitizen » October 24th, 2014, 2:44 pm

exiled_antipodean wrote:
Tcmetro wrote: 94 - Add service every 30-60 minutes on Saturdays and every 90 minutes on Sundays. Add evening/night service.
I'm not sure I understand the market for a service on 90 minute headways on Sundays.
Yeah...I hope that ranked extremely low. That is absurd. Anything less than 30-minute service on the 94 is not worth providing at all. The 94 is fine the way it is now...it runs from 5am-7pm. I can understand wanting 30-minute Saturday service. If anything, not expanding the Route 94 keeps the pressure on Metro Transit (and Mpls & St.Paul) to continue improving Green Line times. We haven't even reached the scheduled 48 minutes on average yet...don't take away the pressure!

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby mulad » October 24th, 2014, 3:42 pm

I suppose that's true, though I keep for an almost point-to-point express network using routes much like the 94. I'd really argue for it to be reduced down to just two or three stops in downtown Saint Paul, restore some sort of stop at Snelling, and only have three or so stops in downtown Minneapolis, preferably using a street (or street pair) with dedicated bus lanes (7th Street in Minneapolis is a mess during rush hour, but buses didn't have much trouble on 4th aside from poor signal timing). It would be a faster version of the transit center network. However, I've done some back-of-the-envelope number crunching for building up a network of such routes, and it would require a considerable expansion of the bus fleet, new drivers, etc. -- something that gets shot down when thinking in a constrained-capital fashion.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby billhelm » October 27th, 2014, 12:31 pm

mattaudio wrote:The more I think about this, the more I'm frustrated about a lack of service improvement on the 14. The 11 gets 15 minute service sandwiched between the 5 and the 18, but us 14 riders are stuck with 30 minute headways south of 38th Street? The 11 is only 3/8 of a mile to the high frequency 5 and 18 routes, whereas the 14 is a half mile east of the 5 without any usable service until you get a full mile east to the 22, which is ALSO getting 15 minute service.
Is it a ridership issue vs those other routes? I ride the 14 quite often during off peak hours and it's never particularly crowded south of 38th street. I've actually worried about a reduction in service on that segment.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby acs » October 29th, 2014, 12:54 pm

So we now hear the price tag: $72.3 million per year.

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/280814312.html

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby HiawathaGuy » October 29th, 2014, 1:11 pm

acs wrote:So we now hear the price tag: $72.3 million per year.

http://www.startribune.com/local/blogs/280814312.html
To clarify this, that's $72.3 million per year by 2030, to achieve the 122 route enhancements that scored medium or high. That's a 33% increase over current Metro Transit funding levels, and they don't need all those funds upfront - as in they'll improve the routes with the biggest return first.

The headline: "$72.3 million in transit improvements topic of upcoming public meetings" is good, but a better headline would have been "$23.9 million more in transit funding needed by 2030 to achieve route enhancements to move 16 million more people per year".

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby mulad » October 29th, 2014, 1:26 pm

I've been trying to put the numbers in some context too, but haven't been getting them to work quite right. I'm going by the 2012 numbers in the National Transit Database, which admittedly won't match 2015 budgets, but shouldn't be too far off: http://www.ntdprogram.gov/ntdprogram/pu ... s/5027.pdf

I guess I'm going under the assumption that this would be $72.3 million worth of service improvements, which it's important to note would be balanced by fare revenue to some extent -- probably in the 25% to 30% range. Therefore, the annual extra subsidy would be $50-$54 million unless something unusual happened (fare increases could close the gap further, but can also turn riders away).

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby RailBaronYarr » October 30th, 2014, 1:38 pm

Using Mike's link, assuming 81m unlinked rides is bumped up 16 million to 97 with these improvements, farebox recovery ratio (assuming the same average fare per unlinked trip) would go from 31.2% in 2012 to 30.1% by adding $72.3m to the operating budget. Not a huge change in ratio, but certainly not in the "right" direction if we want broader political support. It'd be nice if they were willing to balance this spend with a slate of operational efficiencies and organizational changes that save money.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby MNdible » October 30th, 2014, 2:09 pm

Any idea if this $72.3m is in 2014 dollars or projected 2030 dollars? That would make a huge difference.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby HiawathaGuy » October 30th, 2014, 2:35 pm

MNdible wrote:Any idea if this $72.3m is in 2014 dollars or projected 2030 dollars? That would make a huge difference.
It's so murky. The article doesn't make it easy to understand...

"The plan estimates that if all local and express bus service enhancements were enacted, Metro Transit would need an additional $72.3 million annually by 2030. That is 33 percent more than the agency's 2015 operating budget."

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby LRV Op Dude » November 4th, 2014, 6:25 pm

2014 Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan Presentation

Blog: Old-Twin Cities Transit New-Twin Cities Transit

You Tube: Old, New

AKA: Bus Driver Dude

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby twincitizen » November 12th, 2014, 10:38 pm

I'm going to the open house at Southdale Library tomorrow/Thursday night.

Anyone else been to one or planning on going? Get those comments in by November 30!

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby twincitizen » November 30th, 2014, 9:55 pm

2 hours left to get your comments in. Post 'em here too if you bothered to send in comments.

EDIT: Here are my comments:
Draft SIP Comments:

Overall, I am very supportive of the planned service improvements.

Specifically, by route, I have the following comments:

4: Supportive of splitting into separate routes 4 and 15. The Route 4 today is very close to meeting HFN (Hi-Frequency Network) status between downtown and 38th Street. It is not clear from Draft SIP if the "new" 4 would meet HFN criteria between downtown and 38th Street (or wherever the future shortline 4A terminates). On the subject of the HFN, I will note that metrotransit.org is out of date, still showing the Route 16 instead of the Green Line: http://www.metrotransit.org/high-freque ... k-map.aspx . Regarding the future Route 15, is there any reason you aren't designating it as "Route 8" instead? That is the lowest available number, besides Route 1 of course. Single digits are typically used for busy urban core routes. Unless you have something else in mind for the Route 8, this would be a logical place to use it. Route 15 could be reserved for a less busy urban route.

6: Supportive of increasing Route 6 frequency to replace Route 12 service (though less supportive of removing limited-stop Rt. 12 service on Hennepin). Route 6 really deserves a limited-stop overlay during peak (like Route 59 on Central Ave NE), as the corridor is not served by any nearby express or limited-stop service. Supportive of extending all Route 6 service to SE Minneapolis. See general comments below regarding a limited-stop overlay.

7 & 14: Supportive of increasing frequency on both routes along trunk portion. However, the long-term goal should be to relocate the Rt. 7 service on 1st St N to join the Rt. 14 on Washington Ave through the North Loop (Plymouth Ave to Hennepin Ave). Work with the City of Minneapolis to create pedestrian easements through private property to eliminate barriers to pedestrian access. The only justification for not doing this right now seems to be the lack of pedestrian access through the 1/2-mile long "superblocks" between Washington and 1st St N. Putting both routes on Washington would provide this increasingly densely populated corridor with very high frequency into the core. Furthermore, I'd like to see Route 7 stay on Washington Avenue and not divert into the core, providing a straightforward, logical route between the North Loop (and north Minneapolis) and 7 Corners. If both routes served Washington Avenue through the North Loop, it would be easier to make that change to the Route 7. Regardless, I think the case for a straightforward, common sense route on Washington Avenue is getting stronger every day as the corridor develops and adds destinations of its own. As downtown grows and diversifies, not every single route needs to serve 7th & Nicollet.

17: Consider implementing limited-stop service where the 17 overlaps the Route 18 and Route 6, both of which have very high frequencies of their own. There is no need for the Route 17 to make stops on Hennepin between Uptown Transit Station and 24th Street. Nicollet would be more difficult to implement a limited stop operation, but please do consider it for the Hennepin Avenue overlap. This could help make up for the elimination of the limited-stop 12 service.

18: Please consider adding a peak-hour limited-stop overlay like the Route 59 / Route 10 on Central Ave NE.

23: Change number to Route 38. It just makes way too much sense. Don't think about it too hard, just do it.

30/32: Strongly supportive of adding weekend service to Routes 30 and 32.

54: Very supportive of extension to east side of St. Paul and beyond. This is a no-brainer approach to preparing for future aBRT service in the corridor.

94: Not supportive of adding 90-minute headway service on Sundays. Who does this serve? I can't imagine many riders will be better served by this than simply getting on the Green Line. Perhaps the Sunday aspect of this should not be ranked as "high", along with the 30"-60" Saturday service. Otherwise, I support adding Saturday service.

156 (not actually part of draft SIP): I noticed that the Route 156 is classified as an "Express" route, rather than "Limited Stop". The only real difference is the cost of the fare. Route 156 riders are getting overcharged for an express fare, while other similar routes are classified as "Limited Stop" and pay the standard fare. One could potentially ride the Route 535 from Bloomington and pay a lower fare than a 156 rider coming from Kenny neighborhood. The 141, 146 and many other "in-city" routes are all classified as "Ltd. Stop", rather than "Express", so the 156 is an outlier.

540 & 542: Supportive of increase frequency/span for these routes, to increase connections with Orange Line. Consider simplifying Route 542 to stay on American Blvd and not divert to Richfield. The future Orange Line Knox Avenue connection under 494 will provide both a transit connection and a ped/bike connection. If extending 540 to Braemar Park in Edina, consider terminating at Golden Triangle Station (Green Line extension).

602: Supportive, but consider adding this as a limited-stop service, as it will overlay the Route 6 for the vast majority of the route.

601 / 643: I support anything that simplifies the current Route 9 and chops off some of its many twisted branches. I'll take the first swing of the axe.

700: Though this ranked low, I do support long-term exploration of limited-stop or BRT service in the Hwy. 100 corridor between Brooklyn Center and Normandale Lake office park at 494. It's really a shame that Hwy. 100 wasn't rebuilt with future BRT service in mind, especially the portion currently under construction in St. Louis Park.


Overall, I want to reiterate my strong desire for limited stop routes to be overlaid on all busy urban routes. Honestly, I hoped and expected to see more of that in the plan, but aside from extending the Route 54 there is none. In Northeast Minneapolis, Routes 59 and 141 overlay Routes 10 and 4, respectively. How is it possible that there is not enough demand for such a service along Route 6 or Route 18? Both are very busy routes that are not likely to receive aBRT any time soon, for various reasons. Looking at the Hi-Frequency network map, the 6 and 18 really stand out in that they are not getting aBRT any time soon, and do not currently have limited-stop service overlays. Every other HFN corridor either has aBRT coming in the near future, or already has limited-stop service. These two corridors demand something more than local bus service, even if only a peak-hour overlay like the Route 59. How exactly does one get from Linden Hills to downtown in a reasonable amount of time? The 146 is way down on 50th Street, and there is literally no alternative other than riding the local Route 6 for approximately 40 blocks to get downtown.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby Tcmetro » April 11th, 2015, 12:38 pm

Metro Transit has released the final service improvement plan, with approval anticipated on Monday.

http://www.metrotransit.org/sip
http://www.metrotransit.org/Data/Sites/ ... ndices.pdf (Large file)

I'll list the near term (2015-17) high ranked projects here:

3 - Add late night and early morning trips, daily.
4 - Separate the north portion of the route into new Rt. 15
6 - Add 8 peak hour trips that do not stop from Uptown TC to Franklin Ave.
7 - Improve midday and Saturday service to 20 min, improve peak from Franklin/27th to 1st/8th to 15 min.
9 - Simplify route to use Glenwood, Cedar Lake, and Wayzata Bl between Downtown and Louisiana Ave TC. Cedar Lake Rd west of Park Place will be served by Rt. 643. 9H service to 26th Ave will continue until SW LRT restructuring. 15-30 min service, evenings 60 min.
10 - Improve Sat. service to 10 min, add owl trips.
11 - Improve weekday and Sat. service to 15 min between Lowry and 46th St.
15 - Replaces Rt. 4 north of downtown.
17 - Extend all trips to 27th/Washington. Add a 1 am trip from downtown on Sundays.
18 - Improve PM rush hour to 7-8 min, Sunday morning to 10 min, add owl service.
19 - Improve Sunday service to 15 min.
22 - Improve to 15 min daily between 42/Lyndale and VA Hospital.
30 - Add weekend service, 30 min day, 60 morning/evening.
32 - Improve weekday to 20 min, add Sunday service every 30 min.
51 - New peak direction limited stop version of Rt. 5 between Downtown and Mall of America.
54 - Extend to Maplewood Mall via 7th, Arcade, Maryland, White Bear, add owl service.
58 - New peak direction limited stop version of Rt. 18 between Downtown and American Bl.
61 - Improve peak to 15 min, Improve Sat. 30 min, add new Sunday service 30 min, add weekend evening hours.
63 - Improve to 15 min daily, 20 min evenings.
74 - Improve from 46th Blue Line to Stillwater/Nokomis to 15 min daily, 20 min evening.
94 - Add weekend service, 30-60 min.
110 - New Longfellow/Seward - U of M route.
643 - Restructure to replace part of Rt. 9, via Glenwood, Xenia, Cedar Lake. 15 min peak, 30 min other times.
721 - Improve weekends to 30 min.
724 - Improve peak to 15 min.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby MSPtoMKE » April 11th, 2015, 7:04 pm

Now how much of that they will actually be able to implement, since it is unfunded. There is a lot to like, though. I wonder if the additional 50 series limited stop routes is a realization that Metro Transit can't reasonably expect to start one new Rapid Bus line every year.
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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby twincitizen » April 11th, 2015, 9:08 pm

Tcmetro wrote:6 - Add 8 peak hour trips that do not stop from Uptown TC to Franklin Ave.
9 - Simplify route
51 - New peak direction limited stop version of Rt. 5 between Downtown and Mall of America.
58 - New peak direction limited stop version of Rt. 18 between Downtown and American Bl.
I would love to think that my comments were at least partially responsible for these changes from the draft plan. I guess the 9 was in the draft plan, but the others were not. I really stressed the need for this limited-stop service and brought this up at one of the open houses too. It's totally absurd that the 5 and 18 don't have limited-stop overlays.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby mamundsen » April 12th, 2015, 5:37 am

Tcmetro wrote: 3 - Add late night and early morning trips, daily.
61 - Improve peak to 15 min, Improve Sat. 30 min, add new Sunday service 30 min, add weekend evening hours.
These are the 2 routes I use most often from Como to Mpls. It always amazed me how the 61's currently scheduled. It is a busy route any time I am on it. Any guess how soon the changes could take place?

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby Tcmetro » April 12th, 2015, 10:30 am

All the improvements can only happen if the money is there. The off-peak improvements are a better bet because they won't require the purchase of more buses.

I suppose the explanation for the 61 comes from the fact that it was a new bus created in 2001. The service pattern is more or less the same now, except the Saturday service used to end at Larpenteur/Arcade instead of going all the way to DT STP. In any case, more service is long overdue.

I really like the idea of the 9/643 restructure. Right now the 9 is easily one of the most confusing routes in the system.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby trigonalmayhem » April 13th, 2015, 6:30 am

billhelm wrote:
mattaudio wrote:The more I think about this, the more I'm frustrated about a lack of service improvement on the 14. The 11 gets 15 minute service sandwiched between the 5 and the 18, but us 14 riders are stuck with 30 minute headways south of 38th Street? The 11 is only 3/8 of a mile to the high frequency 5 and 18 routes, whereas the 14 is a half mile east of the 5 without any usable service until you get a full mile east to the 22, which is ALSO getting 15 minute service.
Is it a ridership issue vs those other routes? I ride the 14 quite often during off peak hours and it's never particularly crowded south of 38th street. I've actually worried about a reduction in service on that segment.
I think this is pretty likely why. I ride the 11 daily on both sides of downtown and it's always pretty full. More so on the northeast side, which really serves an area that no other buses do. Northeast really deserves better service and more frequent 11s is a step in the right direction there.

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Re: Metro Transit Service Improvement Plan 2014

Postby woofner » April 13th, 2015, 3:58 pm

I wonder why the 4 is the only route singled out for splitting up? Some routes, like the 6, have branches that make sense for interlining, but plenty of others don't. I've heard rumors that the 5 has been considered for splitting due to the extreme length of the line. The 17, in particular, I've thought should be severed, since its geography seems to have significant impacts on its reliability. Maybe the 4 is going to be a guinea pig, but it seems like de-interlining is something that should be considered more systematically.
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