Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Qhaberl
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Qhaberl » January 18th, 2018, 11:05 am

gopherfan wrote:
Qhaberl wrote:
January 16th, 2018, 4:17 pm
Thinking more about a good pilot route, what about giving the six some dedicated space. It can get pretty slow on Hennepin in the afternoon.
Hennepin is set to undergo reconstruction in 2020. https://www.hennepindowntown.com/ Now is the time to push for better bus routing downtown. Also, the 6 is set to become the E Line https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetin ... pdate.aspx

I heard that Hennepin was good you want to be redone in 2020. If memory serves correct, I believe that is only the portion through downtown. I was thinking more about giving buses on Hennepin Avenue extra space through uptown, say from Franklin Avenue to Lake Street. Obviously this would probably have to be done with a full reconstruction of that stretch of Hennepin Avenue. Anybody know if there are any plans to reconstruct that portion?

I believe next year Hennepin Avenue will begin being reconstructed from 36 street north to Lake Street. I don't believe they are putting any bus only lanes there, but I don't think it's needed there.


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Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Silophant » January 18th, 2018, 11:18 am

Continuing it through St Anthony to Dinkytown is a no-brainer, and down France to Southdale only slightly less so.

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby RailBaronYarr » January 18th, 2018, 11:26 am

They are not putting bus lanes on the Hennepin stretch from Lake to 36th St. However, the project team worked closely with MT and decided to 1) reduce bus stops (thank god, it is so painful stopping every block in this stretch), and 2) are planning for the bus stops to be "aBRT-ready" - having enough space for a standard aBRT shelter, TVM, bike racks, etc. They may even get the standard shelters on day 1, but leave electrical connections ready for everything else.

I think MT is more open to the idea that the E Line shouldn't terminate at West Lake than they are leading on in their public documents. I wrote about this possibility here. West Lake is a nice connection point for people who want to get to Uptown-ish places in a single transfer from SWLRT (and certainly supports the idea that a 3C-ish routing may have been better ***ducks***). But if we had Midtown Rail and/or Lake St aBRT, that takes away much of the need since most people would be interested in hitting Henn/Lake or Lyn/Lake anyway (or willing to walk from 29th to destinations as far north/south as 26th/33rd).

alexschief
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby alexschief » January 18th, 2018, 1:21 pm

I can see the E-Line terminating at the West Lake Station when the SWLRT opens, let's say in 2023.

Then, when Midtown LRT opens, let's say in 2027, the E-Line route to the West Lake Station is removed, and the route is instead extended from the Uptown Transit Center to the American Boulevard Orange Line station, with no more detour to the West Lake station. Instead, only the B-Line and the new Midtown LRT serve the West Lake Station. In other words:

2022 - B-Line
2023 - Southwest LRT and E-Line
2027 - Midtown LRT and E-Line straightening and extension

EOst
Capella Tower
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby EOst » January 18th, 2018, 2:06 pm

alexschief wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 10:34 am
Why is the route of the E Line so small? Surely it should go further south, perhaps all the way to Southdale? Also further north, at the very minimum across the river to serve St. Anthony.
Extending it through Marcy-Holmes to Stadium Village Station feels like something that needs to happen, especially since that 6 rump wouldn't be a very effective route. That leg has to have one of the highest per-mile riderships of any MTC route.

codyzwief
Block E
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby codyzwief » January 19th, 2018, 9:12 am

I would love to see a rapid bus line go up Hennepin and through St. Paul/Falcon Heights/Maplewood via Larpenteur, intersecting with the A line and East 7th line. It wouldn't hold up traffic too much, and would bring some much needed transit to one of the biggest transit deserts in the metro. Currently, there's no real rapid transit serving Como/North End/Payne-Phalen. But that's just me being self-serving. :)

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » January 19th, 2018, 9:48 am

In case anyone is interested, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority's Facebook and Twitter pages have Metro Transit vehicles for the cover photos. This is for today only as part of the wager in the Vikings-Saints game.

SkyScraperKid

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SkyScraperKid » January 19th, 2018, 10:50 pm

alexschief wrote:
January 18th, 2018, 10:34 am
Why is the route of the E Line so small? Surely it should go further south, perhaps all the way to Southdale? Also further north, at the very minimum across the river to serve St. Anthony.
an E line extension down to Harriet Lake via the old streetcar/trolley ROW and ending up at 50th and France area would be pretty cool in my book. Nice transit to the beach, shopping, and housing along the route but ending up in downtown to work after the weekend. Not sure how much ridership that line would get, but sure would be nice to take a NICE bus to the beach during the summer.

SamtheBusNerd
City Center
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SamtheBusNerd » January 26th, 2018, 10:57 am

"These three rail lines now constitute 31 percent of all rides on Metro Transit," said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin. "This is another piece of strong evidence that rail investment is good for the Twin Cities."

As strong as rail ridership was, it was not enough to offset a drop in the number of bus passengers. The agency provided nearly 3 million fewer bus rides in 2017 when compared to 2016. Ridership dropped from 58.1 million in 2016 to 55.7 million last year.

Officials said the 2 percent drop mirrors a national trend that saw bus ridership declines attributed in part to low gas prices. Metro Transit's ridership losses were greatest during off-peak hours and on routes that were detoured off Nicollet Mall during construction.
http://www.startribune.com/rail-ridersh ... 471258614/

I wish that MT would see this as an opportunity to improve regular bus service instead of finding other things to blame. If rail ridership continues to do well with dropping gas prices then I'd say that's a pretty good sign that people are willing to ditch their cars for good transit. The majority of our buses just aren't very good service and it's something that could be fixed a lot cheaper and sooner than waiting for funding for ABRT.

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VacantLuxuries
US Bank Plaza
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby VacantLuxuries » January 26th, 2018, 11:41 am

Seems like all the more reason to start pushing for dedicated bus lanes. People choose fixed rail because they don't end up still stuck in traffic. Well, except for downtown and at Snelling...

SurlyLHT
Target Field
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SurlyLHT » January 26th, 2018, 11:44 am

VacantLuxuries wrote:
January 26th, 2018, 11:41 am
Seems like all the more reason to start pushing for dedicated bus lanes. People choose fixed rail because they don't end up still stuck in traffic. Well, except for downtown and at Snelling...
I agree. I usually bike and while my bike was in for repair this week I took the bus and was shocked how limited they are by traffic and infrastructure. If we want more people to live in Minneapolis we need to make better use the road-right aways we have.

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » January 26th, 2018, 12:27 pm

I'd rather walk than crawl along in a bus stuck in traffic. It never fails to make me grin when I ride the blue line in Chicago and I'm sailing along at 50mph looking down at the bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. Sometimes i laugh out loud!

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Bob Stinson's Ghost
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Bob Stinson's Ghost » January 26th, 2018, 12:33 pm

Okay, I should add that I laugh at my good fortune to avoid crying at the thought of all those poor people down there stuck in their idling cars going nowhere and getting really angry and frustrated.

LakeCharles
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby LakeCharles » January 26th, 2018, 1:21 pm

Bob Stinson's Ghost wrote:
January 26th, 2018, 12:27 pm
I'd rather walk than crawl along in a bus stuck in traffic. It never fails to make me grin when I ride the blue line in Chicago and I'm sailing along at 50mph looking down at the bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. Sometimes i laugh out loud!
I don't mind crawling along in traffic on a bus, personally. I use it as time to read. I was so caught up in my book the other day on the 18 that I looked up, expecting we'd somewhere down Nicollet (just based on the amount of time), and discovered we were still stuck on Hennepin due to all the traffic! I'm sure I could have walked faster than the bus went, but I don't regret it.

amiller92
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby amiller92 » January 26th, 2018, 1:32 pm

The wife has started riding the bus to work for her new job (sometimes with me, sometimes a different one). Once we catch it in North Richfield, it's takes roughly 30 minutes to get to where I get off on the east side of downtown. That's comparable to biking (for me, I'm slow) and maybe 10-15 minutes slower than driving, depending on where I park (and how much I spend). That's competitive, for me. I'd rather take the bus (driving in rush hour traffic blows, there's some exercise built in, it's cheaper than parking, there's some social good in it) and that time difference is not enough to matter.

The wife's new job is in the North Loop, so she needs to keep going through downtown. It can take as much as another half hour. She can definitely drive in less than half that time. That tips the scales a lot.

A dedicated lane through the downtown core to speed up that last mile would make a big difference. Another one in the other direction might mean that my bus on the way home is 15-30 minutes late far less frequently.

amiller92
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby amiller92 » January 26th, 2018, 1:34 pm

LakeCharles wrote:
January 26th, 2018, 1:21 pm
I don't mind crawling along in traffic on a bus, personally. I use it as time to read. I was so caught up in my book the other day on the 18 that I looked up, expecting we'd somewhere down Nicollet (just based on the amount of time), and discovered we were still stuck on Hennepin due to all the traffic! I'm sure I could have walked faster than the bus went, but I don't regret it.
Twice after Cedar reopened over the Greenway I looked up to find myself farther south than my stop. The first time the 14 made the turn onto 54th and I was so disoriented by the stop announcement that it took me two blocks to realize I better get off and start walking!

tmart
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby tmart » January 26th, 2018, 2:04 pm

Personally I find that predictability is more important than total time (within reason). Unexpected delays, detours, late buses, and planning my schedule around periods of low traffic all add a ton of stress to my life and make it hard to maintain a schedule or a social life.

On the best day my old driving commute was 45 minutes, but it could easily stretch to an hour and a half if I left at the wrong time of day. Now I take a high-frequency bus in a mostly-dedicated lane (it's bus-only during rush hour, parking the rest of the day) and it's 25-40 minutes door-to-door, assuming no service interruptions. The freedom to get home in a bounded amount of time, and to leave work at any hour and still have a reasonable trip, has a way bigger impact on my life than the marginal time savings, which could be as little as 5 minutes depending on which days I'm comparing.

(This is in general; none of the commutes I just described were in MN.)

SurlyLHT
Target Field
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SurlyLHT » January 26th, 2018, 3:45 pm

It'll be nice if Minneapolis could get a "smart" traffic control system. I don't know how advanced it currently is. If the lights could talk to each other and you had transponders on MTC buses and police and city vehicles you could get a lot of data. I wonder how much SWLRT would help with traffic Downtown?

DanPatchToget
Rice Park
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » January 26th, 2018, 4:50 pm

In case it isn't obvious, rail bias is real. Its pretty easy to know where a train is and where it stops by finding the rails and the station. Buses on the other hand could be anywhere and just because there is a bus stop sign doesn't guarantee your route stops there or that the driver will see you and stop (I've seen that happen numerous times). The anti-rail folks always talk about how great buses are because they can go anywhere, but that's also their flaw. I wonder if there was a rail line with 30 minute frequency and a bus line with 10 minute frequency following the same route and had similar stop spacing which would have higher ridership? Of course, before that can be answered the question is how much dedicated right-of-way does each route have? When going to downtown I have my choice of either the 465 or the Blue Line. The 465 is closer and faster, but less frequent. The Blue Line is farther and a little bit slower, but higher frequency and more reliability especially during rush hour. I have no idea what the ratio is, but I bounce back and forth between the two, today taking the 465 and heading home before the nightmare traffic begins.

It would be nice if the south and west bound express buses had Marq2, and the east and north bound buses had their own designated roadway configured like Marq2. That should relieve a lot of bus congestion and allow higher frequency. After the Orange Line starts, how many more BRT lines could we have on Marq2?

tmart
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby tmart » January 26th, 2018, 5:06 pm

DanPatchToget wrote:
January 26th, 2018, 4:50 pm
The anti-rail folks always talk about how great buses are because they can go anywhere, but that's also their flaw.
Thank you! This is one of my big pet peeves. Flexibility is an asset for planners but a huge drawback for users.

Case in point, it's simply too easy to add a detour for a bus because something else was deemed higher-priority. You can't add 10 minutes of diversions to go around a construction site on rail. You can't move rail to parallel street for an event. You can't truncate a rail line for an event. (unless it's the Super Bowl lol) You can't send private cars into rail corridors during congestion or lane closures or parking shortages, but even priority bus lanes can be appropriated fairly trivially--MnPass is a permanent system for doing just that! You can't reroute the train away from the station that serves my house, but you can cancel my bus route on a whim, and if I'm buying a house that's a very meaningful factor in what locations I value.

All of those things make hosting events and planning construction easier for the city, but they're a humongous pain for the people who actually rely on the transit.


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