Green Line LRT

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
RailBaronYarr
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby RailBaronYarr » April 7th, 2015, 10:27 am

I just couldn't let the injustice stand! https://streets.mn/2015/04/07/comparing- ... ion-rates/

twincitizen
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 7th, 2015, 12:52 pm

Well done. And good call to post it immediately as a response to the media coverage. We should do more of that on streets.mn

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby talindsay » April 7th, 2015, 1:00 pm

I'm a big believer in the proof-of-payment system because costs of enforcing compliance would be much too high for a system of our size, and in big cities where they're worthwhile you still see a lot of people jumping turnstiles. That said, every time I get on the green line at a station that's only two or three away from the UMN zone (where my rides are free) I have that momentary hesitation of, "is it really worth swiping my card?" I always do - to the best of my knowledge I've never ridden without a fare - but it crosses my mind every time that I'm not riding a big portion of the line. $2.25 to go two stations until the free fare zone seems pretty high in that moment.

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 7th, 2015, 1:07 pm

I had a weird moment of clarity this morning while making my oatmeal. I'm generally against free transit (at least for large systems where capacity can sometimes be an issue) because I think the price signal of different fares is important. On the other hand, I have a MetroPass that lets me literally not worry about time and distance of my trips.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 7th, 2015, 1:15 pm

Also totally unrelated but I just have to say I hate Hate HATE the current Green/Blue transfer at DTE. Coming from the South on the Blue line and going East on the Green Line in the morning, and the opposite in the evening, I make the same platform movements. Every morning I get off on the West/North bound platform, and shuffle to the East/South bound platform. Every evening I get off the West/North bound platform, and shuffle to the East/South bound platform. Today was the first time I actually got confused enough to transfer to the wrong train. I got off the blue, saw a green that I needed, thought "nope I'm waiting for the blue" and let it pass by. Got on the Blue in 5 minutes, the intercom said it was going to Mall of America, and I snapped out of my funk and waited another 5 minutes for the next green.

On top of that, I feel like so much time is wasted going all the way into Downtown just to shuffle out of Downtown on the same exact tracks.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 7th, 2015, 1:37 pm

Without question, there should be a center island platform at DTE. At any expense. If they try to build that damn $8MM pedestrian bridge over the tracks without accommodation for a future center platform, we'll probably need to organize and intervene.

You should write a streets.mn post about that! You have the real-life, "I use this everyday" angle too, which always helps

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » April 7th, 2015, 3:33 pm

Regarding the fare audit, I'm noticing that the percentage of "compliant" fares is also higher on the Green Line than on the Blue Line. This would be fares that were paid correctly, and the rider correctly tapped to transfer. The compliance rate on the Blue Line is in the range of 80.8% and 84.8% versus an 81.6% to 87.6% range for the Green Line.

The number of non-compliant yet non-evading riders is much smaller on the Green Line than the Blue. Subtracting the averages, I get 14.1% non-compliant, non-evading passengers for Blue versus 8.6% for Green.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby twincitizen » April 7th, 2015, 3:38 pm

Have to imagine that is due to the higher proportion of bus transfers to the Blue Line than Green Line (primarily walk-ups). For some reason, a large number of people transferring from buses don't think they have to tap their card. Obviously, you don't "have" to do it, and you'd never get a ticket as long as you're within the 2.5 hour window of your bus boarding, but you certainly are supposed to. You'd have to swipe your pass if transferring to another bus, or rail-to-bus, so logic would follow that you do it for rail as well.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby VAStationDude » April 7th, 2015, 3:39 pm

Metro Pass riders probably make up a higher percentage of Blue Line ridership. I know I neglect to scan my Metro Pass from time to time. Bus transfers play into it also.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » April 7th, 2015, 3:49 pm

...and before I forget to mention it again, I think the pedestal readers are still resetting the 2.5-hour transfer window whenever a card gets tapped. That could be just as big of a drag on revenue than this whole fare evasion discussion.

IllogicalJake
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby IllogicalJake » April 8th, 2015, 9:50 pm

FISHMANPET wrote:Also totally unrelated but I just have to say I hate Hate HATE the current Green/Blue transfer at DTE. Coming from the South on the Blue line and going East on the Green Line in the morning, and the opposite in the evening, I make the same platform movements. Every morning I get off on the West/North bound platform, and shuffle to the East/South bound platform. Every evening I get off the West/North bound platform, and shuffle to the East/South bound platform. Today was the first time I actually got confused enough to transfer to the wrong train. I got off the blue, saw a green that I needed, thought "nope I'm waiting for the blue" and let it pass by. Got on the Blue in 5 minutes, the intercom said it was going to Mall of America, and I snapped out of my funk and waited another 5 minutes for the next green.

On top of that, I feel like so much time is wasted going all the way into Downtown just to shuffle out of Downtown on the same exact tracks.
It's crazy to see how many people transfer at that station every day.

With the Wilfs owning the parking lots on McGrew Pl, would be nice if the city could've made a deal for that land for a fancy new DTE station.
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min-chi-cbus
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 8th, 2015, 10:03 pm

twincitizen wrote:Without question, there should be a center island platform at DTE. At any expense. If they try to build that damn $8MM pedestrian bridge over the tracks without accommodation for a future center platform, we'll probably need to organize and intervene.

You should write a streets.mn post about that! You have the real-life, "I use this everyday" angle too, which always helps
I guess I'd take it a step further and suggest a full-blown central station type of function, that would be the unofficial grand central station of LRT in the Twin Cities. I realize that's what the Target Field station is designed to do, but I feel like that's a notch or two below what needs to be done to house all of the people and moving parts where (up to 4) rail lines intersect. I guess it could also be a grand central station for BRT. And with DTE booming with no end in sight, having a true grand central station downtown on the "fringes" may not be all that far off from the core after all.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 8th, 2015, 10:05 pm

Either way you still need a nice station in the East for Central to Hiawatha, a nice station on the West for Bottineau to Southwest, and a nice station on either end or in between for Southwest to Hiawatha or Bottineau to Central.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 8th, 2015, 10:08 pm

Maybe I'm missing something, but if there's an estimated $1.5M annual(?) cost of people skipping fares, why doesn't MNDOT install turnstiles to make the percentage MUCH smaller? Seems like such an easy, obvious, and frankly, cliche solution, but do the costs of doing so outweigh the benefits (i.e. does it cost more than $1.5M per year to install turnstiles)?

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » April 8th, 2015, 10:21 pm

Well you're assuming that everybody that's not paying would pay rather than not ride, or that a turnstile would prevent 100% of evasion.

There are no best practices that we're missing out on here. This is just the way it is. There are those that want public services to be punitive no matter what the cost, because, well, that's more complicated than I can put in a single sentence. Just like food stamps for filet mignon or lobster, or drug tests for welfare, or really any of the other asinine crap the punitive right comes up with, it's not based in anything more than screwing the poor.

Some people ride transit without paying, some people park without paying, some people ride in the HOT lane without paying, stores lose non zero amounts of product to "shrinkage" etc etc. This is the way the world works. We could post armed guards at every station entrance and every train door, and have them verify every single fare that runs by. And even then a couple of street urchins could work together to distract a cop while the other sneaks through, 100% compliance is not possible, and the fact that this conversation even takes place just goes to show how far the punitive right has drug us all into the mud when it comes poor people and the provisioning of public services.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby MSPtoMKE » April 8th, 2015, 10:26 pm

Turnstiles just aren't really compatible with most light rail systems, I'm not aware of any systems that use them, other than higher capacity systems that are more like "Light Metro" systems. You really need a mezzanine in order to fit turnstiles, something that most light rail stations don't have. If you added turnstiles in the current stations, there would probably be room for one turnstile entrance per ramp, and room for exiting passengers. That would leave to lines spilling out onto the street. Also, it would cost millions of dollars, and they would still need the Metro Transit Police to patrol (although possibly not as large a force).
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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby min-chi-cbus » April 9th, 2015, 8:05 am

I see. Thanks!

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby xandrex » April 9th, 2015, 8:24 am

I think the biggest problem is that anyone willing to skip out on fares could just walk around the turnstiles. Because our system is open air, you could simply walk on the tracks and *poof* you've skipped out on paying.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby mulad » April 9th, 2015, 8:57 am

Yeah, the stations would need to be more fenced off. That might not be bad if combined with barriers to keep passengers away from the tracks until a train is present, like these.

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Re: Green Line (Central Corridor LRT)

Postby talindsay » April 9th, 2015, 11:37 am

Also, keep in mind that even if turnstiles were 100% effective (the reality is nowhere near that), there's still the economics of it: $1.5m per year is nothing. It would cost more than that simply to maintain the turnstile system, never mind the capital cost of building them, or the substantially larger capital cost of modifying stations to enclose them well enough to make turnstiles even vaguely effective.

Turnstiles are a reasonable investment in a fully-grade-separated system that's anticipated to see very high utilization in a densely-populated area. As soon as one of those conditions isn't met, they don't make any sense at all.


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