Public Transit News and Current Happenings

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Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1254
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » March 24th, 2018, 10:59 pm

The main difference is the cost to purchase. The minibuses are usually under $100,000, while the 29' buses are around $300-400,000 each. I don't have figures off hand, but the minibus is quite a bit more fuel efficient. Lastly, minibuses are designed for six year lives, while the 29' bus is designed for a 12 year life.

SamtheBusNerd
City Center
Posts: 42
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:54 am

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SamtheBusNerd » March 26th, 2018, 7:41 am

First Transit drives both of the routes you rode under a contract with the Met Council. As a former driver, I can tell you that the Gilligs are also a lot more pleasant to drive. The Ford cutaways are basically U-Hauls with seats in the back.

Fun fact about the 29' Gilligs, though: they aren't weighted properly like the 40' models so they bottom out really easily on potholes and speed bumps. We used to have to drive about 15mph down 84th St on the 538 so that passengers wouldn't get knocked out of their seats.

jebr
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 161
Joined: April 9th, 2013, 1:04 am
Location: St. Paul (Hamline-Midway)

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby jebr » March 26th, 2018, 8:28 am

Yeah, while it's kinda fun to ride on the Ford cutaways once in a while just for something different, I often can't ride on them for more than 15-20 minutes without feeling carsick. I've only really noticed this on the 225/227 when I get on in Roseville and do the full loop back to Rosedale, but it's often enough that I wonder if it's the bus style or if it's just that particular route/time of day. I don't normally get carsick, so it's odd that it happens pretty reliably when I do that loop. (I've sometimes done it if I'm feeling a bit lazy and don't want to walk the half-mile or so to the other route but it's rush hour so the route is only running in one direction.)

I'd love to find a way to get the 83 to at least a 29' Gillig; I know height restrictions are the reason they use the current Ford cutaway but I think it devalues the route a fair amount to not have the regular-looking transit buses on that route.

tmart
Landmark Center
Posts: 258
Joined: October 6th, 2017, 10:05 am
Location: Expat

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby tmart » March 28th, 2018, 5:38 pm

The Government Accountability Office will be investigating why US transit projects, most notably subways, cost so much more than those in other developed nations.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/nyre ... gress.html

SamtheBusNerd
City Center
Posts: 42
Joined: August 20th, 2015, 10:54 am

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby SamtheBusNerd » March 29th, 2018, 1:02 pm

They have to study it? Seems like we all know the reasons:

1. FTA/federal regulations like Buy America and the whole convoluted, drawn out planning and funding process.

2. See above

3. The inability of most places in the US to look outside the country for new ideas. (For example the streetcar vs light rail issue here and how we seem to be unable to give streetcars their own lanes)

4. Private ownership of ROW like railways.

5. Our country's use of the legal system to block things special interest groups don't like.

6. Crazy work rules in places like NYC that aren't really about safety or good working conditions anymore.

7. Paying for all sorts of other projects (like community revitalization or beautification, jobs programs, engagement, etc) through transit projects instead of out of budgets that are actually for those sorts of goals.

The Green Line was a great example of almost all of these: it's basically an overbuilt streetcar, MPR sued, there was a ton of money spent on non-transit related stuff in St. Paul, etc... It's a great line and wonderful asset to MSP but I bet some European city has done a very similar thing for much less money.

Korh
Metrodome
Posts: 89
Joined: March 8th, 2017, 10:21 pm

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Korh » March 29th, 2018, 5:05 pm

tmart wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 5:38 pm
The Government Accountability Office will be investigating why US transit projects, most notably subways, cost so much more than those in other developed nations.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/nyre ... gress.html
since the mentioned the 2nd avenue subway I remember hearing from a video/article that around 2.4 bill (just about half of the cost) went towards the station design while about 730 mil was spend on tunneling, laying track, etc (about 15% of the cost).

I'm sure there where other factors at play but I still find it somewhat ironic and some what irritating they decided to put the station before the train, and if it turns out that the next LRT extension here the gets built (I'm half expending the Bottineau line will be finish before the SWLRT the way things are going), if it gets reveled that most of the money was spent on the stations, I'm gonna start trying to push for all stations on subsequent lines be as bare bones as possible with either METRO making them look nicer at a later date or the exact design and cost of the stations are up to the city they run through to deiced (seems to work for texas given the design of Downtown Grapevines station for texrail)

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Nick
Capella Tower
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Joined: May 30th, 2012, 9:33 pm
Location: Loring Park, Minneapolis

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Nick » March 30th, 2018, 8:07 am

I think with “station design” the issue isn’t exactly referring to, like, public art, the problem is unnecessary excavation and building huge concourses, etc.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1254
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » March 30th, 2018, 8:22 am

Stations (especially for subways) will always be a big expense, because usually they require creating a massive pit in the ground for build out, whereas tunneling is much less disruptive (provided TBMs are used)

intercomnut
Rice Park
Posts: 401
Joined: April 23rd, 2015, 1:04 pm

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby intercomnut » March 30th, 2018, 10:00 am

Korh wrote:
March 29th, 2018, 5:05 pm
tmart wrote:
March 28th, 2018, 5:38 pm
The Government Accountability Office will be investigating why US transit projects, most notably subways, cost so much more than those in other developed nations.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/28/nyre ... gress.html
since the mentioned the 2nd avenue subway I remember hearing from a video/article that around 2.4 bill (just about half of the cost) went towards the station design while about 730 mil was spend on tunneling, laying track, etc (about 15% of the cost).

I'm sure there where other factors at play but I still find it somewhat ironic and some what irritating they decided to put the station before the train, and if it turns out that the next LRT extension here the gets built (I'm half expending the Bottineau line will be finish before the SWLRT the way things are going), if it gets reveled that most of the money was spent on the stations, I'm gonna start trying to push for all stations on subsequent lines be as bare bones as possible with either METRO making them look nicer at a later date or the exact design and cost of the stations are up to the city they run through to deiced (seems to work for texas given the design of Downtown Grapevines station for texrail)
Yeah, I would argue our current METRO platforms (with the exception of the Red Line) are about as bare bones as you can get with Minnesota winter. The public art even isn’t extravagant, and IIRC it was not very expensive.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mattaudio » April 2nd, 2018, 9:26 am

Isn't there a Federal Transit Administration requirement that no-less-than 0.5% and no-more-than 5% of project costs be dedicated to public art?

Bakken2016
Landmark Center
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Joined: September 20th, 2017, 12:40 pm
Location: North Loop

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Bakken2016 » April 5th, 2018, 8:42 am


DanPatchToget
Rice Park
Posts: 420
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » April 13th, 2018, 7:08 pm

Has Metro Transit retired all of the Gillig Phantom buses? Last time I rode one was in 2016 I believe. They were common on Route 589, and I hated it. Leather seats were uncomfortable and you would slide around, and going over bumps they were noisier than an average bus. For the disabled it took awhile time to get the platform lowered (these were high floor buses, steps at the front).

mamundsen
Foshay Tower
Posts: 975
Joined: November 15th, 2012, 10:01 am

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mamundsen » April 17th, 2018, 3:55 pm

DanPatchToget wrote:
April 13th, 2018, 7:08 pm
Has Metro Transit retired all of the Gillig Phantom buses? Last time I rode one was in 2016 I believe. They were common on Route 589, and I hated it. Leather seats were uncomfortable and you would slide around, and going over bumps they were noisier than an average bus. For the disabled it took awhile time to get the platform lowered (these were high floor buses, steps at the front).
I don't know bus models by a quick look, but I googled Gillig Phantom and i think I've seen a few of these on express (Marq2) routes. Are they the only transit (non coach bus style) ones with the high floors? If so, I saw one 5 min ago.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
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Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » April 17th, 2018, 5:54 pm

I'd imagine that there are a few Phantoms left in service, the last order was delivered in 2004.

There is a new contract out for bid. Includes 158 buses with 95 options for 2019-2023.

There should be an articulated contract soon also, the oldest are from 2006.

Bakken2016
Landmark Center
Posts: 274
Joined: September 20th, 2017, 12:40 pm
Location: North Loop

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Bakken2016 » April 17th, 2018, 5:55 pm

Tcmetro wrote:I'd imagine that there are a few Phantoms left in service, the last order was delivered in 2004.

There is a new contract out for bid. Would include 158 buses with 95 options for 2019-2023.

There should be an articulated contract soon also, the oldest are from 2006.
I though Metro Transit got new articulated ones just a few years ago.


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Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1254
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » April 17th, 2018, 5:57 pm

Metro Transit has been moving towards more frequent, smaller orders. In recent years they have been getting 10-15 every year or two.

The oldest artics are 15 high floor (New Flyer D60) models from 2006.

xandrex
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1254
Joined: January 30th, 2013, 11:14 am

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby xandrex » April 18th, 2018, 9:23 am

Definitely rode on a high-platform bus late last year on a route 17, so there must be a few floating around.

billhelm
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 148
Joined: June 1st, 2012, 10:59 am

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby billhelm » April 19th, 2018, 8:48 am

I rode on one on a 133 inbound to downtown in January. They're definitely a few floating around.

EOst
Capella Tower
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Joined: March 19th, 2014, 8:05 pm
Location: North End, Saint Paul

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby EOst » April 19th, 2018, 9:27 am

I think I read somewhere that the last high-floor buses would be phased out this year.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
Posts: 7541
Joined: June 19th, 2012, 2:04 pm
Location: NORI: NOrth of RIchfield

Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mattaudio » April 20th, 2018, 1:40 pm

Disappointing news regarding how Park and Portland will be restriped during 35W construction. A council staffer sent this over as PW's final design:
A couple of things to note: the two-foot buffer for cyclists, which is not part of the current street design where Park and Portland have three driving lanes, will remain in place after this project is completed. Also, the bus-only lanes will accommodate express routes and will be open to cars outside of peak rush hour travel times. Please let me know if you have questions.
If I'm reading this right, this plan:
- Adds a third driving lane outside of rush hour precisely when it is not needed and when it will induce dangerous travel speeds.
- Doesn't really provide transit advantage.

This seems like a major fail, right?
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