Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Tcmetro
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » December 3rd, 2012, 3:33 am

Metro Transit has to make an agreement with the parks department to use the parkways. Thus, only a select few stretches of parkway where there are no viable alternatives have bus service.

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » December 3rd, 2012, 9:44 am

Seems odd to detour AWAY from the trailer park and large apartment complexes in St. Anthony Village, but my only thought is that the parkway is super narrow on that stretch. That and MPB's resistance to buses operating on the parkways.

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » December 3rd, 2012, 9:57 am

Strib's on the transit beat today:

Scott County officials worry about light rail tie-ins
Not what you'd think. Scott County planners WANT connections to SWLRT, feel that they are not being accounted for in station planning process. Also, Dan Patch study legislative ban is referenced. Perhaps we could see that ban lifted in 2013 with a transit friendly legislaure.

Dakota County protests sharing 'rapid bus' label
Yeah...I saw that coming a mile away, after Dakota County got all sensitive over the paint scheme on the buses. Who do these county commissioners think they are? transit planners? How about you be politicians and worry about your budget and other county things. Leave the transit planning to people who are, you know, qualified to make those decisions.

MNdible
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby MNdible » December 3rd, 2012, 10:05 am

Everybody knows that parks and buses don't go together, in the same way that allowing a decent restaurant to operate in a park is a terrible idea.

Our parks must be natural. No messing them up with messy transportation or commerce or people.

mulad
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » December 4th, 2012, 6:15 am

twincitizen wrote:Dakota County protests sharing 'rapid bus' label
Yeah...I saw that coming a mile away, after Dakota County got all sensitive over the paint scheme on the buses. Who do these county commissioners think they are? transit planners? How about you be politicians and worry about your budget and other county things. Leave the transit planning to people who are, you know, qualified to make those decisions.
I don't really like the term "rapid" being applied to either the Cedar BRT or the arterial lines, though Cedar is probably more deserving. In my mind, "rapid transit" should be a form that actually allows passengers to make trips with travel times comparable to what you can do in a car, and potentially go faster than a car at least on some segments. Hiawatha LRT (where the "R" stands for "rail" rather than "rapid") seems to qualify since trips can be pretty comparable. Google says that driving from downtown by the IDS Center to the airport takes 21 minutes along Hiawatha Ave, while the LRT takes 27 minutes, though obviously things vary a lot depending on whether you've parked in a ramp or have to walk a bit more or less -- nonetheless the light rail's disadvantage from stopping as many times as it does still only makes it 25% slower or somewhere around there.

Many bus lines, in comparison, seem to take 3-5x as long as driving by car. Cedar BRT should be relatively good in terms of travel time, but there is the big problem of the Cedar Grove station which wastes several minutes on each trip since it doesn't have an inline stop.

Cedar BRT seems like a very strange implementation of BRT to me -- it should probably get another term. Perhaps "BOSS" -- "bus-only shoulders with stations"...

Anyway, I seemed to be in the minority on that poll. I think I preferred "select" and "connect" over "rapid" and the other terms they gave as options.

mplsjaromir
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mplsjaromir » December 4th, 2012, 9:07 am

BOSS is a cool idea.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » December 4th, 2012, 9:47 am

That bus handles the shoulder like a boss.

Tcmetro
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » December 8th, 2012, 6:03 pm

Plans for new transit shelters in Downtown St. Paul:
http://councilmeetings.metc.state.mn.us ... prsntn.pdf

Interestingly, they plan to add TVMs at the 6th/Cedar and 5th/Minnesota stops. I wish a bus bulb would be placed at the 6th/Cedar stop though, the sidewalk is way too narrow.

mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » December 8th, 2012, 6:20 pm

The email posted from MetroTransit here viewtopic.php?f=18&t=1021&p=12414#p12414 noted there might be improvements at the MOA transit center down the line...

Has anyone seen plans or concepts?

I'm hoping they could relocate it to the area where the new Mayo/hotel facility has been planned, between Lindau Lane and the north entrance of the mall... with a new skyway of some sort connecting to Phase II, this would put the transit center in a much more centralized area. It would allow for easier interlining of future potential services. And it would likely be an improvement over the parking lot dungeon feel of the existing station.

mulad
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » December 8th, 2012, 6:28 pm

Excellent to hear that there are plans to put TVMs at some major bus stops. I hope Metro Transit can roll out a bunch of them in the coming years.

With today's schedule changes, I noticed that buses that are planned to take Cedar Street in downtown Saint Paul are only detouring along St. Peter down to 7th Street at the moment -- merely skipping past the two remaining blocks worth of heavy construction along the Central Corridor.

Tcmetro
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » December 8th, 2012, 9:09 pm

I'd like to see it placed on Lindau as well, however, I think that there is too much cost associated with an extension/modification of the light rail line. I do think that connecting the bus roadways to the parking ramp entrance at 82nd St, and adding a turn in/out at Killebrew Drive could be quite convenient. Red Line, MVTA, and 538/539 would no longer have to detour to the 28th Ave Station. I would like to see the terminal building replaced with a building that allows the inner roadway (where Metro Mobility stops) to be used as bus bays, and I would perhaps the MOA LRT station could be converted to a 3-platform station, which cross-platform bus transfers.
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UptownSport
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby UptownSport » December 9th, 2012, 5:56 pm

Article in Strib about US 10 Pedestrian deaths, asking for a fix:

Fixing deadly spot on Hwy 10 could cost $300 million

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » December 10th, 2012, 4:38 pm

The MetC Transportation Committee is in session right now discussing the following non-controversial items:

Monday, December 10
Transportation Committee: 4 p.m., Metro Transit Heywood Chambers, 560 – 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis

Non-Consent Items
“A” Minor Arterial System Evaluation Study;
2013-2016 TIP Amendment to Add Midtown Greenway Corridor Bridge Study Project; [ED: reallocating some leftover funds from the previous bridge study, plus some new grant money]
2013-2016 TIP Amendment to Add the Transportation Interchange Facility in Minneapolis;
2013-2016 TIP Amendment to Modify the Lake Street Access to I-35W Project; [ED: Just moving money around, nothing new to report]
Authorization to Enter into a Contract for Highway Transitway Corridor Study;
Title VI Policies Authorization for Public Hearings;
Authorization to Purchase Property - Public Facilities Maintenance Building; [ED: moving to Transfer Road in St. Paul from a leased facility somewhere]

Information
Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (Green Line): Construction Update 2012 and Look Ahead to 2013;
Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (Green Line): SEIS Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement Update;
Downtown Saint Paul Facility Improvement Project; [ED: I want to hear more about this one!]
2012 Transportation Committee Work Plan Review; and other business.

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » December 10th, 2012, 10:13 pm

If there was ever a day that could be used as crystal clear evidence of the need for more investment in rail:

https://twitter.com/MetroTransitMN/stat ... 7247027200
@MetroTransitMN wrote:6:30 p.m. update: 408 buses on 102 routes w/ 26% of buses on schedule; avg. delay = 28 minutes. Light rail is on schedule.
AVERAGE DELAY 28 MINUTES. WOW. And that's with the major roads plowed and snowfall long over with.

This evening I waited at Hennepin & 12th in single digit temps for ~45 minutes for a Route 4 and had to watch two of them go by with overloads. Another passenger and myself had to beg to the driver of the 3rd bus to let us on; she agreed only after a few passengers alighted. Every bus driver (other routes too) would approach the stop and say "there's another one right behind me", which ended up being 10-15 minutes behind and just as full.

mulad
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » December 10th, 2012, 11:35 pm

Yeah, I was pretty shocked to see that go by this evening -- I figure it must be due to roads freezing up. The afternoon peak tends to be busier (at its busiest point) on given any day, so it may not have taken much to cause major trouble.

mattaudio
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mattaudio » December 11th, 2012, 10:59 am

Do they ever have "specials" that can start a route mid way through its run in such cases? Seems like it would make sense to me, especially on days when weather or other situations present a likelihood of people being stranded at bus stops due to overloads.

Wedgeguy
Capella Tower
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Wedgeguy » December 11th, 2012, 12:01 pm

Yes, yesterday was a bad day. I was on the 4 bus at 26th and lyndale as I had just missed it at 27th and had walked down to 26th to see if I could catch it. It took 10 minutes to catch up with me there. Once on I watch it take 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach downtown. I think that we will be seeing the same thing again this evening too. Was 40 minutes late to my meeting as I finally walk the second part of my journey as there was no bus for me to connect with. I reached my destination on foot, a 20 minute walk and still did not see the 5 bus come by me.

mulad
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » December 11th, 2012, 1:25 pm

Of course, trains and buses get busier when it snows: I was digging out my car in my apartment parking lot around noon yesterday, and was amazed that the lot was pretty full. Usually only around 1/3 or 1/4 of the cars remain on a typical midday, but this time it was closer to 2/3 or 3/4 full. A lot of University of Minnesota students live in my building, so I think some of them went to the U for morning classes and then came back later in the day to dig out their cars.

According to KSTP, Northstar ridership was up 25% yesterday. While an influx of riders is "a problem that's good to have", I'm sure boarding times slowed down quite a bit as people fumbled for change and tried to dig out their infrequently-used Go-To cards, etc.

The reliability of LRT and Northstar is pretty amazing, but that's what you get with 8-, 16-, 24-wheel drive... I'm curious how well the Green Line will do when it opens, since it is a climb to get out of Saint Paul, particularly along Cedar Street in downtown and along Robert Street/University Ave near the capitol, but it'll probably work alright.

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » December 11th, 2012, 2:20 pm

Our LRVs are specially equipped with sand dispensers to prevent slippage in extreme weather. It can't be great on the wheels/rails, but I assume it's there to prevent crashes/derailments. I have no idea how often this feature actually gets used.

bptenor
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby bptenor » December 11th, 2012, 3:19 pm

Leaving the U on the 272 Express for the Maplewood Transit Center yesterday took almost 2 hours last night. I certainly hope it doesn't take that long this time!


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