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twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » September 7th, 2012, 9:09 pm

Nick wrote:I increasingly feel like Neville Chamberlain about this whole situation.
You're appeasing the Nasas?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeasement

UptownSport
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby UptownSport » September 8th, 2012, 3:35 pm

Is there a thread on the I-35 transit access project (and 94 interchange)?
Assume there must be and I missed it

http://www.35lake.com/

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 8th, 2012, 3:48 pm

There's been some talk about that in the Orange line thread

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » September 10th, 2012, 10:53 pm

I managed to track down that Xcelsior demo bus today. It's a bus much like any other bus, but a few things stuck out -- there aren't any windows that passengers can open, for one thing, so the A/C better be working all the time in the warmer months. But that does make for a better view out the windows and there's probably less stuff to rattle around and make noise as the bus moves along. The roof escape hatch (I only saw one at the rear end) is made with clear glass or plastic, so it works as a small sunroof. Another small oddity is that the floor slopes upward a bit in the rear high-floor section

The ride quality did seem a bit better than other buses currently in the fleet, but I often end up on articulated units (this one was not), and of course it didn't have many miles on the odometer yet.

I had hoped to catch the bus using the "mall mode" a bit where it can theoretically run on batteries only for a mile or so, but that didn't seem to get engaged while I was onboard. Even with the engine running, the bus did seem to have a bit less vibration than the buses I'm accustomed to, but again, it might partly be that the bus is just newer.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » October 2nd, 2012, 9:42 am

Apparently construction of the Maplewood Mall ramp is taking longer than expected and the Mall won't let Metro Transit use their lots through the holiday season, so the park and ride is moving to the Myth club a few blocks away, until January.

http://www.metrotransit.org/TransitArti ... cleid=1100

Due to high demand Metro Transit has added a 12th roundtrip to the 467 Lakeville Express bus:

http://www.metrotransit.org/TransitArti ... cleid=1092

twincitizen
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » October 2nd, 2012, 6:06 pm

And those Lakeville folks are still paying the same fare as someone riding from St. Louis Park or Richfield despite traveling MORE THAN DOUBLE the distance.

20.5 Miles to Kenrick Ave P&R in Lakeville from Marquette & 7th downtown.

Compare this to Mtka Blvd & Louisiana Ave (6.8mi) or Lyndale & 66th (7.3mi)

Fare zones for express routes needs to happen. Especially the single point of origin routes. If Northstar can have zoned fares, so can Express buses.

Express riders pay when they get on the bus inbound and pay when they get off outbound, so the fare system wouldn't be difficult to implement. The technology is already on the bus.

Alternatively, the Cleveland RTA system charges a higher fare if you commute from a Park & Ride. This would be a nice, equitable way of directly charging users for the enormous costs of those structures.

/rant. sorry.

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Nick
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Nick » October 2nd, 2012, 6:29 pm

twincitizen wrote:And those Lakeville folks are still paying the same fare as someone riding from St. Louis Park or Richfield despite traveling MORE THAN DOUBLE the distance.

20.5 Miles to Kenrick Ave P&R in Lakeville from Marquette & 7th downtown.

Compare this to Mtka Blvd & Louisiana Ave (6.8mi) or Lyndale & 66th (7.3mi)

Fare zones for express routes needs to happen. Especially the single point of origin routes. If Northstar can have zoned fares, so can Express buses.

Express riders pay when they get on the bus inbound and pay when they get off outbound, so the fare system wouldn't be difficult to implement. The technology is already on the bus.

Alternatively, the Cleveland RTA system charges a higher fare if you commute from a Park & Ride. This would be a nice, equitable way of directly charging users for the enormous costs of those structures.

/rant. sorry.
Without getting too technical, transit is already heavily subsidized and I'd be careful trying to align specific route prices with the actual cost of service. Which sounds counter intuitive but...it's too easy to bring that argument to other places.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » October 4th, 2012, 8:17 am

Rosedale park and ride closing permanently:
Due to increased parking demand from mall shoppers, the Rosedale Park & Ride lot will close permanently effective Nov. 23.

Plan now to park at either of these nearby Park & Ride lots:

I-35W & Co. Rd. C Park & Ride – east of Cleveland Ave., north of Co. Rd. C

This is your best option. There are hundreds of spaces, plus covered parking protects your
car from the elements (no scraping!). Most Route 260 express trips that normally serve Rosedale will serve the ramp – plus there’s lots of service on Route 264.

Grace Church Park & Ride – east of Hamline Ave. south of Co. Rd. B2

Current Route 260 trips to and from the Roseville Skating Center will instead offer direct morning service between Grace Church and downtown Minneapolis. Afternoon Route 260 trips from downtown Minneapolis to Grace Church will also serve I-35W & Co. Rd. C Park & Ride. Route 272 buses to the U of M will serve Grace Church rather than Rosedale.

Service changes are coming in December!
Watch for more details in the December Connect about new or expanded service from Roseville and Little Canada effective Dec. 8:

• Added Route 261 service will replace Route 260 service from Roseville Skating Center and Grace Church Park & Rides

• New Route 263 express service to downtown Minneapolis from the new Hwy. 36 & Rice Street Park & Ride (opening in December)

• Added Route 264 trips will replace Route 260 from Rosedale, I-35W & Co. Rd. C Park & Ride and downtown Minneapolis

• Route 272 service to Grace Church Park & Ride, instead of Rosedale

Details will be available in the December edition of Connect, available on buses starting Nov. 23.


http://metrotransit.org/TransitArticles ... cleid=1105http://metrotransit.org/TransitArticles ... cleid=1105

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » October 5th, 2012, 9:19 am

Similar to the Arterial Transitway Corridor Study, a Highway Transitway Corridor Study will be conducted next year. Met Council is looking for consulatants.
http://metrocouncil.org/doing_business/ ... 12P201.pdf

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » October 6th, 2012, 8:19 am

Interesting to hear about that. I've always felt that Metro Transit hasn't made enough use of the freeway/highway network, but of course the highways have almost never been designed with transit in mind. There are a lot of express routes out there, but most of them run non-stop from whatever suburb they originate in until they get to downtown Minneapolis or Saint Paul. Some routes that do make intermediate stops end up looping around to transit centers off the centerline of the highway, slowing things down considerably.

I made a post in the spring of last year talking about a "freeway BRT" system that could use diamond interchanges with no modification and others with modest changes, but there can be big problems with the way things are laid out near interchanges anyway -- development tends to get pushed back from the highway by hundreds of feet if not 1/4 mile, and I've come across diamond interchanges in some suburbs like Chaska where the distance between the inbound and outbound ramps is 1/4 mile. That's the typical walking distance for a bus rider to reach their stop, so that means the walk shed for one of those diamonds is basically the bridge in the middle of the junction and nothing else.

So while there are some big problems with geometry, the speed advantage compared to local buses is hard to ignore.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » October 9th, 2012, 8:22 am

Here is a presentation for the transit capital program for the next 5 years, it basically explains where all the money is going.

http://councilmeetings.metc.state.mn.us ... -Final.pdf

Highlights include:
- 329 replacement buses for Metro Transit
- Technology and signage improvements
- 6 more articulated buses
- 2 more park and rides
- New police facility
- Heywood II design
- 515 replacement buses for Metro Mobility
- 302 replacement buses for MTS/Suburban Transit Agencies
- 3 more STA park and rides
- SW LRT
- Fort Snelling park and ride
- Snelling BRT

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby PhilmerPhil » October 9th, 2012, 8:26 am

Tcmetro wrote:Here is a presentation for the transit capital program for the next 5 years, it basically explains where all the money is going.

http://councilmeetings.metc.state.mn.us ... -Final.pdf

Highlights include:
- 329 replacement buses for Metro Transit
- Technology and signage improvements
- 6 more articulated buses
- 2 more park and rides
- New police facility
- Heywood II design
- 515 replacement buses for Metro Mobility
- 302 replacement buses for MTS/Suburban Transit Agencies
- 3 more STA park and rides
- SW LRT
- Fort Snelling park and ride
- Snelling BRT
- 2 more park and rides
- 3 more STA park and rides
- Fort Snelling park and ride

Hmmm... Lots of money going towards parking and suburban transit. Doesn't seem proportionate to me.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby mulad » October 9th, 2012, 9:16 am

Huh. I guess I'd been beginning to think that "MTS" was shorthand for "Metro Transit <something>", but it's actually something distinct?

Interesting that Metro Mobility has so many vehicles to replace. Their fleet is clearly a lot bigger than I thought.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby MNdible » October 9th, 2012, 9:43 am

I don't really understand how Metro Mobility works, but at some point it seems like it would be cheaper to just pay for cabs for its users.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby woofner » October 9th, 2012, 10:05 am

mulad wrote:Huh. I guess I'd been beginning to think that "MTS" was shorthand for "Metro Transit <something>", but it's actually something distinct?
Only in the USA can a suburb opt out of the regional transit system and then contract for transit services with the regional transit provider. Sounds real efficient. Way to go policymakers for prioritizing ideology over transit riders.

Did I miss it or did they not list a specific funding source for the $6.5m Snelling BRT? Presumably it's not state funding or they would have listed it on slide 7. If I remember right rapid bus isn't eligible for CTIB money. Does that leave RTC? It's not CMAQ is it?
"Who rescued whom!"

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Nick
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby Nick » October 9th, 2012, 10:25 am

IIRC, MTS is a portion of Metro Transit service that still operates in their main service area but is a contract service (and has contracted, non-union drivers). The 87 comes to mind between the St. Paul campus of the U and St. Thomas. At least when I took it, it was a First Transit bus.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2012, 10:59 am

MTS (Metropolitan Transportation Services) is a weird amalgam of a lot of things.

It does long-range and short-range transportation planning for the region, working with the TAB and other gov't bodies on all forms of trasportation, not just transit. It also plans and contracts out the operation of Metro Mobility, Transit-Link (dial-a-ride) Vanpools, and contracts out routes that typically have too high of subsidies for Metro Transit to operate. (Route 87, Route 80, future Route 83 on Lexington, and most suburban locals too). I'm pretty sure Metro Transit still handles the planning efforts on some of those routes. MTS does not include the actual opt-out services like MVTA and Southwest Transit. I don't know that First Transit drivers (and other contracted services) are necessarily non-unionized, but they definitely get paid less than Metro Transit drivers do.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby woofner » October 9th, 2012, 11:27 am

So, for example, Minnetonka opted out in 2003, but contracted with Metro Transit for transit planning and operations. Metro Transit in turn contracts with its subsidiary, MTS, for the suburban local in Minnetonka and for 2 of the 12 expresses that stop in Minnetonka. So my anti-American rant is less applicable than I thought, but I still stand by it. At least when Metro Transit uses its subsidiary to compete with itself for the pleasure of suburban politicians, the riders don't suffer as much.
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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby twincitizen » October 12th, 2012, 2:35 pm

From Metro Transit:
Image
The bus stop on 7th Street at Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis has grown to be the busiest in the state and beyond. Essentially at the epicenter of the Twin Cities urban core, it is a transfer point among many of our most popular north-south and east-west routes. However, unlike rail stations and transit centers that are designed to handle large numbers of people, the 7th & Nicollet bus stop has no clear spaces delineated for “walkers” and “waiters.” A new pilot project called WalkSafe addresses this.

About 4,300 customers board buses each weekday at 7th & Nicollet – a 13 percent increase over just three years ago. By comparison, the next busiest place for bus boardings is Brooklyn Center Transit Center at about 3,450 per weekday. The sidewalk on 7th has become very congested, particularly during afternoon peak travel times. This has made the area inaccessible for some and intimidating for others. In addition, it has attracted loiterers who can be difficult for police to distinguish from transit patrons.

WalkSafe is a combination of strategies to define walking and waiting areas for everyone. Bright sidewalk markings and signs make the full boundary of the 175-foot- long bus waiting area clear for our customers (see photo). Previously, those waiting for buses tended to gather near the middle of the stop against the wall of City Center. Now, customers are encouraged to gather in the waiting zone where benches have been moved, trash barrels have been added and news boxes removed. There’s also a new monitor displaying NexTrip predicted real-time bus departures for our customers.

Signs have been posted in the area to help warn against loitering and poor behavior at the stop, and Metro Transit Police and Minneapolis Police have coordinated with the City Attorney’s office for clear and effective enforcement of ordinances.

Customers and pedestrians have been asked to provide feedback on the WalkSafe pilot project by phone or via the Internet http://www.metrotransit.org/walksafe and we’ve already received many valuable comments. Project partners Metro Transit, City of Minneapolis, Downtown Council and property owners will continue to closely monitor and evaluate the project over the next several months. We will adjust strategies as needed.

This is one step toward a larger shared vision to better distribute boardings and improve the transit and pedestrian environment throughout downtown Minneapolis. We’re committed to working with these same project partners over the longer term to improve mobility, amenities and safety in the heart of the city.

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Re: Transit News and Happenings

Postby min-chi-cbus » October 12th, 2012, 2:52 pm

Wish I could see the photo with the improvements!

*Edit: I can see it now, woops!
Last edited by min-chi-cbus on October 12th, 2012, 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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