Green Line / Central Corridor construction thread (archive)

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mulad
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » May 15th, 2014, 8:25 am

Some consolidated charts, showing scheduled travel times for the 16, 50, and 94 (split into two because the 94B is considerably slower than the 94C and 94D). I used the times listed for stops closest to those stations, and had a flat 35 minutes for the Green Line. Because of it's designated right-of-way, the Green Line should be like a fast 16 or fast 50. The thing to focus on is the area between the red and orange/yellow plots for those routes vs. the Green Line. Even if reality forces that to be nudged upward by a few minutes, there's still a big chunk of the day where everyday riders along the route should see considerable reductions in travel time.

Image

Image

Next, I'll probably try to add some estimation of wait time into the overall trip durations.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby schmitzm03 » May 15th, 2014, 10:43 am

Chava wrote:This guy seems to think rail service should offer a speedy experience:
"One value of a built-out, interconnected rail system is that time does matter end to
end because it’s a connection. Theoretically, one should be able to leave St. Paul, hop on light rail, transfer in Minneapolis and take the Blue Line to the airport in a reasonable period of time.

If the point of the Green Line, however, is primarily to serve a short hop from one station to another, St. Paul already had that system — the bus."

http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2014/0 ... le-option/
I'm sorry. I know that rail bias is real. But anyone who would jump on the green line and transfer to the blue line to go to the airport is doing so because they are either not in any rush or because they simply do not know there is a much faster transit option. The 54 goes directly to the airport in about 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul. It would take well over an hour to go to MSP by LRT (i.e., Green to Blue lines). The green line was never sold as a way to get to MSP from St. Paul.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Chava » May 15th, 2014, 10:49 am

That one was particularly out there for me as well. Maybe he thought he was in Chicago?

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby kellonathan » May 15th, 2014, 10:54 am

I could still imagine lots of out-of-town visitors using the Green-Blue Lines from dwtn St. Paul to MSP for the sake of reliability. Rail system is more legible to users (especially for those who are not familiar with the system) compared to a bus system. W 7th St aBRT might help a bit, but I would eventually hope to see Riverview Corridor moving forward as a fixed-guideway transitway.
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby schmitzm03 » May 15th, 2014, 11:04 am

Chava wrote:That one was particularly out there for me as well. Maybe he thought he was in Chicago?
Maybe there has been a discussion about this somewhere on this board (there must have been), but it seems MetroTransit could really do more to advertise its existing limited stop and express lines. Maybe brand the 53, 54, etc. in a way that make them more recognizable. We already have some decently fast connections. I take the 53 each morning from S. Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul and it is really fairly nice. From Bloomington/Lake to the 5th/Minnesota it takes about 30 minutes. For me, until I started to have a more fully realized mental map of different bust routes, I didn't find bus service particularly convenient other than for my daily commute.

To get back on topic, I think if people start seeing the green and blue lines as the high frequency, well connected spines of the overall system, then they'll realize that what is particularly useful about our emerging transit system is that it gives you options. If you miss one bus, you might be able to catch another to a LRT line that will take you where you want to go (and you typically won't have to wait for the LRT for even 10 minutes). I do this all the time with the blue line. As I'm passing by the Lake St/Midtown station I'll see when the next 23 is leaving from 38th st and hop off to take the Blue line south if it looks like it will get me home faster than the next 14 at Bloomington/Lake.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Chava » May 15th, 2014, 11:16 am

schmitzm03 wrote:
Chava wrote:That one was particularly out there for me as well. Maybe he thought he was in Chicago?


To get back on topic, I think if people start seeing the green and blue lines as the high frequency, well connected spines of the overall system, then they'll realize that what is particularly useful about our emerging transit system is that it gives you options. If you miss one bus, you might be able to catch another to a LRT line that will take you where you want to go (and you typically won't have to wait for the LRT for even 10 minutes). I do this all the time with the blue line. As I'm passing by the Lake St/Midtown station I'll see when the next 23 is leaving from 38th st and hop off to take the Blue line south if it looks like it will get me home faster than the next 14 at Bloomington/Lake.
Yes! This is why I look forward to the Green line opening: options! My commute now is typically an hour+ mostly because I am waiting for connections between buses that run only every 15-30 minutes. I have to get my commute just right or else I end up in a 1.5 hour commute situation if I miss a bus. With LRT frequency, I can potentially cut my commute down, even if the 39 minutes target ends up being a little longer because I won't be waiting around for a bus.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » May 15th, 2014, 12:25 pm

Unfortunately most limited-stop and express routes are of limited use to anyone who's not a commuter going in the peak direction at peak times. The 54 and (current) 94 are examples of types of service we should see more of. As far as I know, the 54 is the only route that always operates as limited-stop, and is probably the longest-duration limited-stop service (unless you count LRT). Similarly, today's 94 is frequent and runs for most of the day (you can even see them make their last run after midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning).

The 53 only runs at peak times, and is a commuter service for people living in the Lake Street/Marshall corridor and working in downtown St. Paul. There are no runs to Uptown in the morning, and no runs to St. Paul in the evening.

We are getting consistent limited-stop service with the "aBRT" routes, though they'll still mix with the old local buses at least to start (except for the 54 / "B" Line which will undergo a complete conversion -- though I guess even that still shares parts of the route with local buses that branch off 7th onto Grand, St. Clair, Randolph...). Highway BRT which would be somewhat like today's 94 is still being studied and it's not yet clear if they'll proceed with that concept.

Unfortunately, as has been mentioned many times, the 94 is being trimmed back to be primarily a peak-period commuter service. The good thing is that those hours of service are being redistributed to enhance the local bus routes, and it probably makes sense to revive the 94 at some point as part of the highway BRT program (though I don't think that was included in the recent study for whatever reason -- yes, the Green Line is coming, but it has a decent amount of independent utility to the system).

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mattaudio » May 15th, 2014, 12:46 pm

I hope we can see the low-frequency limited stop routes (1go away as we develop more aBRT routes and a network of high-capacity high-frequency backbones connecting regional destinations thereby significantly reducing the transfer penalty.

Part of making our bus network more accessible and slimming the rail bias is making our bus system easier to understand. Fewer route numbers would help.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby ProspectPete » May 15th, 2014, 2:19 pm

Back to the signalling problems. It is really a St Paul thing? Wouldn't the contracter just install the stuff with all the other electronics and the cantenary as they went along?
My small sample survey seems to agree with that theory: That the St Paul train signals are at best randomly cycling or at worst stopping the trains and giving cars priority.
I was at on University Ave today, at the Westgate station (just inside the St Paul city limits) and saw a car waiting to take a left. Train came to a stop and let that car turn.
Now as I sit at the Overflow coffee shop (just inside Mpls city limits) I have a birds eye view of the Prospect Park Station. Trains *seem* to have prioirty. The pull up, drop their imaginary passengers, and take off usually without delay. Also, I notice that the westbound train, as soon as it's at the platform, triggers the big flashing train warning the cars, and then gets the vertical bar.
Could be coincidence, but so far I've seen this happen 4 x in a row. I don't think I'm hallucinating.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Chauncey87 » May 15th, 2014, 3:34 pm

Chart of the day: How fast is our LRT compared to other cities?

"Yesterday MPR said that during Green Line testing, trains were running an average of 67 minutes between the downtowns. The planned time is 40 minutes, and according to the article, signal prioritization is still being worked out, which could have an impact. I wondered whether this was slow for LRT (it’s slower than the current 16 bus service), which brings me to the chart of the day."

https://streets.mn/2014/05/15/chart-of-t ... er-cities/

For those who say this line was not designed to be used from dt to dt. The green line has/had potential to pull people from both sides of the metro to really help reduce car usage between both ends. Just because this line goes from one dt to another should not excuse it from providing acceptable end to end time. They have a month to figure things out so I am not getting all uppity about the travel times so far. I want both a smooth and fast ride between both ends, being told take the bus will not cut it for me. I have been on so many MT buses that I am just tired of the jerky, bumpy, and loud experience the bus provides.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby ECtransplant » May 15th, 2014, 4:15 pm

That chart is empty white space when I load the page both on Chrome on my Android phone and on Chrome on my Windows laptop

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » May 15th, 2014, 4:47 pm

Brendon's chart had been working earlier today, but it's gone missing now for some reason.

Unfortunately, I think he goofed and showed the Blue Line as being much faster than it actually is. The route is 41 minutes to go 12.3 miles from Target Field to MOA, or 18 mph average. The Green Line from Target Field to SPUD is closer to 11 miles, so it is supposed to clock in at about 16 mph.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mplser » May 15th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Just sat behind someone who was using the tracks as a place to stop their car and wait until the road was clear for them to turn left... I predict a lot of crashes in the near future, but not that that is the train's fault, just that people here don't know how to drive.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » May 15th, 2014, 8:46 pm

Unless the driver was illegally turning against the light, that's not really a problem. It's normal to be pulled partway into an intersection when turning left. When I learned to drive, I was taught to wait until it was clear, potentially finishing the turn after the light turned red.

Certainly some folks push that too far -- ideally you only get into that position after someone else ahead finishes the turn. Sometimes you get two or three cars waiting in a row, which isn't great, and at a certain point, people may start really blowing through a red.

I'm assuming here that we're talking of a car coming from a cross street, since cars turning left from University always get a green arrow. Trains only go when the main travel lanes have a green ball, and the left turn lanes have red arrows.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby VAStationDude » May 15th, 2014, 8:54 pm

I had dinner at a place just east of Victoria this evening. The west bound trains I observed moved pretty well through the Victoria intersection. My observation in downtown Saint Paul earlier today was that trains were moving faster i.e.not waiting for full cycles from the other direction before getting a vertical bar signal.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby kellonathan » May 15th, 2014, 9:51 pm

I was at Starbucks on Washington Ave. Transit Mall (the one in the Commons Hotel building) the other day for train-watching. It was a great personal reminder for me that there are lots of signal works that need to be done before the opening.

For the duration of 1.5hrs, I was sitting at a patio and found:
- Not a single EB train was able to pass Washington & Walnut without stopping for a red light.
- About 2/3rd of WB train were able to enter the East Bank station platform without stopping in the mall---which is good.
- The other 1/3rd of WB train pretty much stopped at every intersection along the transit mall.
- There was one WB train stuck in the stop signal at Washington & Harvard for a while, which was particularly interesting. After waiting for 3 light cycles, the driver had to ignore the white LRT signals to proceed to the platform.

The point is, there are still works need to be done and I hope MT is working on it!
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby Mdcastle » May 15th, 2014, 10:15 pm

schmitzm03 wrote:
Chava wrote:This guy seems to think rail service should offer a speedy experience:
"One value of a built-out, interconnected rail system is that time does matter end to
end because it’s a connection. Theoretically, one should be able to leave St. Paul, hop on light rail, transfer in Minneapolis and take the Blue Line to the airport in a reasonable period of time.

If the point of the Green Line, however, is primarily to serve a short hop from one station to another, St. Paul already had that system — the bus."

http://blogs.mprnews.org/newscut/2014/0 ... le-option/
I'm sorry. I know that rail bias is real. But anyone who would jump on the green line and transfer to the blue line to go to the airport is doing so because they are either not in any rush or because they simply do not know there is a much faster transit option. The 54 goes directly to the airport in about 20 minutes from downtown St. Paul. It would take well over an hour to go to MSP by LRT (i.e., Green to Blue lines). The green line was never sold as a way to get to MSP from St. Paul.
Or they simply don't ride buses. A lot of people I know have ridden the train but taking a city bus is a completely foreign idea to them.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby helsinki » May 16th, 2014, 2:22 am

A depressing (yet simultaneously hopeful) reminder of the sorry state of much of the built environment near the Green Line:

"Perhaps the most coordinated effort to prevent displacement is underway in the Twin Cities, where trains will soon roll on the $1 billion Central Corridor. The project connects downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and is surrounded by moderate-income residential areas and so much parking that within a quarter-mile of just one planned station (Hamline Avenue) there is enough parking to fill six Manhattan blocks. That's plenty of land for new construction and lots of potential for displacement." (emphasis added)

- Yonah Freemark (Atlantic; http://www.citylab.com/housing/2014/05/ ... owth/9100/)

Yet another reminder that the installation of the LRT itself doesn't dispel the autocentricity of adjacent land uses.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby ProspectPete » May 16th, 2014, 7:41 am

LRV accident over 280.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mattaudio » May 16th, 2014, 7:47 am

Driver apparently left the scene.


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