Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

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Silophant
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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Silophant » October 3rd, 2018, 12:56 pm

Gotta artificially drive usage of Union Depot so we can pretend the quarter billion dollars spent to restore it for two trains a day was worth it.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » October 3rd, 2018, 1:10 pm

nate wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 12:31 pm
What is the projected ridership of the Gold Line? IIRC it is in the 5-7k range. A 2% increase in project budget that results in a 10-20% increase in ridership is a steal at twice the price. Why, exactly, wouldn’t we want to do this?
Like Silophant said, to make people go through Union Depot so it looks busy more than just when the Empire Builder goes through.

To be fair, it makes a nice regional and intercity transit hub, but we did it before actually having any regional and intercity routes to serve it.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby tmart » October 3rd, 2018, 3:34 pm

To be fair, there was a very reasonable expectation at the time that the Depot would be served by more frequent high-speed rail to Wisconsin and Chicago, and in fact it came very close to reality before Scott Walker decided he'd rather give the money to California HSR.

It was also a time when we were actively planning new light and commuter rail projects--things like St. Paul-Rochester and St. Paul-Duluth were on the table, and the mode choices for the Gold Line, Red Rock, and Rush Line corridors had not yet been made.

A lot went wrong for rail projects in MN since then. Sometimes you try to do something forward-thinking and the expected growth never materializes.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby mattaudio » October 4th, 2018, 8:51 am

I'm still not getting what this "LOOP" is... an extension from Union Depot to Smith Ave that crosses downtown and doesn't force a transfer to the Green Line? That's not a loop, that's an extension. And it makes sense.

Know what else makes sense and would drive ridership? Extending it to Minneapolis over I-94...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mJMag ... sp=sharing

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » October 4th, 2018, 8:57 am

mattaudio wrote:
October 4th, 2018, 8:51 am
I'm still not getting what this "LOOP" is... an extension from Union Depot to Smith Ave that crosses downtown and doesn't force a transfer to the Green Line? That's not a loop, that's an extension. And it makes sense.

Know what else makes sense and would drive ridership? Extending it to Minneapolis over I-94...
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1mJMag ... sp=sharing
I'm curious how much that would cost and how much ridership would be gained from that. Assuming it replaces Route 94 then the majority if not all of those riders would switch, maybe a microscopic amount from the Green Line, and people from the eastern suburbs who would have a one-seat ride to/from Minneapolis (how many people that is I don't know).

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Vagueperson » October 5th, 2018, 4:39 pm

Nobody riding end to end on this line would be inconvenienced by adding the "loop." Those people who don't want the loop will still be able to get on/off the bus near the Union Depot. Adding the loop simply adds an option for people starting or stopping further west.
Additionally, from what I read dropping the loop might lower ridership numbers to a point where this thing doesn't get federal funding. So I'm guessing it's not much of a discussion.

However, if the county commissioners can convince the city to make them bus only lanes... !

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Vagueperson » October 5th, 2018, 4:40 pm

Oh wait, already bus-only lanes... isn't that what the commissioners were arguing about?

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby at40man » October 26th, 2018, 8:42 am

Silophant wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 12:56 pm
Gotta artificially drive usage of Union Depot so we can pretend the quarter billion dollars spent to restore it for two trains a day was worth it.
I am on the Gold Line CBAC. While I disagree with Commissioner McDonough's stance on the issue of the "loop" - I do understand his vision for the Depot.

It isn't about "artificially driving usage" at all. The vision for Union Depot was to make it a facility to do quick and easy transfers between modes and lines. In reality, that vision was compromised from the very beginning when the decision was made to have the Green Line stop at the front instead of back of the building. All these years later many - MANY - people and officials remain very disappointed by this decision.

At this point there is also no good way to re-engineer the bus deck to allow for a "thru" connection at the rear -- which makes it easier to have the Gold Line loop pass the front of the building.

All that said, the desire of people who would use the line, the projections, etc. put me in favor of the downtown loop. It is indeed true that terminating at the Depot vs the Loop does put the project at more of a risk of not getting federal funding, whereas with the loop it is pretty much slam dunk. But I don't want to hear about how putting services in the rear of the Depot about "artificially driving usage" because that Just. Isn't. True.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » October 26th, 2018, 9:32 am

I won't assume every proposed transitway being routed to the Union Depot is to drive up usage, but for the Gold Line I'm going to have to say that yes a Depot terminus would be to drive up usage of a transit hub that is only busy when there's an event going on and when the Empire Builder comes through. In the right circumstances its good to use the Depot as a terminus or station stop (intercity and commuter rail, because there's no way we're going to route those through the core of St. Paul).

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby mattaudio » October 26th, 2018, 10:44 am

at40man wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 8:42 am
The vision for Union Depot was to make it a facility to do quick and easy transfers between modes and lines. In reality, that vision was compromised from the very beginning when the decision was made to have the Green Line stop at the front instead of back of the building.
The concept of using downtown circulators to connect to suburban transit services has been tried and has failed. Minneapolis built lots of infrastructure for this concept: The transit facilities in the A/B/C, Gateway, and Leamington ramps were built with circulator service in mind. Instead, we've settled on routing transit through the central business district with multiple stops along the way. Marq2 is the most efficient example of this concept. Then again, since Minneapolis CBD drives transit ridership in our metro, maybe it doesn't matter where people transfer from the Gold Line to Green or Route 94. Then again, that's another great reason to interline the Gold and Rush Line BRT through Downtown St. Paul, then back onto I-94 to Downtown Minneapolis (replacing Route 94).

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » October 26th, 2018, 1:17 pm

mattaudio wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 10:44 am
at40man wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 8:42 am
The vision for Union Depot was to make it a facility to do quick and easy transfers between modes and lines. In reality, that vision was compromised from the very beginning when the decision was made to have the Green Line stop at the front instead of back of the building.
The concept of using downtown circulators to connect to suburban transit services has been tried and has failed. Minneapolis built lots of infrastructure for this concept: The transit facilities in the A/B/C, Gateway, and Leamington ramps were built with circulator service in mind. Instead, we've settled on routing transit through the central business district with multiple stops along the way. Marq2 is the most efficient example of this concept. Then again, since Minneapolis CBD drives transit ridership in our metro, maybe it doesn't matter where people transfer from the Gold Line to Green or Route 94. Then again, that's another great reason to interline the Gold and Rush Line BRT through Downtown St. Paul, then back onto I-94 to Downtown Minneapolis (replacing Route 94).
Were those ramps ever used by express buses, and if so how long did that last? I think Southwest Transit used them at one point, but only for Twins express service to Target Field.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby MNdible » October 26th, 2018, 1:41 pm

mattaudio wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 10:44 am
The concept of using downtown circulators to connect to suburban transit services has been tried and has failed.
My understanding is that Minneapolis built the infrastructure to support it, but never actually implemented a true circulator system. Unless you know otherwise, I don't think it's fair to say that it has been tried.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Scott Wood » October 27th, 2018, 12:24 am

at40man wrote:
October 26th, 2018, 8:42 am
Silophant wrote:
October 3rd, 2018, 12:56 pm
Gotta artificially drive usage of Union Depot so we can pretend the quarter billion dollars spent to restore it for two trains a day was worth it.
I am on the Gold Line CBAC. While I disagree with Commissioner McDonough's stance on the issue of the "loop" - I do understand his vision for the Depot.

It isn't about "artificially driving usage" at all. The vision for Union Depot was to make it a facility to do quick and easy transfers between modes and lines. In reality, that vision was compromised from the very beginning when the decision was made to have the Green Line stop at the front instead of back of the building. All these years later many - MANY - people and officials remain very disappointed by this decision.
You're disappointed by putting the station closer to origins/destinations? The sensible place to do a "quick and easy transfer" between buses and the Green Line is Central Station (which also works for most if not all existing routes that serve downtown, not just those that terminate there). There's nothing quick about getting to the back of Union Depot, whether it's on foot from the surrounding area, or on a bus making its way in and out.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby jtoemke » October 29th, 2018, 8:35 am

[/quote]
The concept of using downtown circulators to connect to suburban transit services has been tried and has failed
[/quote]

I don't know if you consider this to be the same thing, but I would guess that a solid 50% of Northstar riders get on Blue/Green Line after pulling in to Target Field. Just providing a similar example...

DanPatchToget
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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » October 29th, 2018, 9:04 am

jtoemke wrote:
October 29th, 2018, 8:35 am
The concept of using downtown circulators to connect to suburban transit services has been tried and has failed
[/quote]

I don't know if you consider this to be the same thing, but I would guess that a solid 50% of Northstar riders get on Blue/Green Line after pulling in to Target Field. Just providing a similar example...
[/quote]

However, Route 20 (the Northstar-Downtown Shuttle) is being discontinued. Depending on where you're going Route 20 is either closer or farther than the light rail.

More importantly though is that we can't route commuter rail through downtown (well we could, but we'll have to pay for a very expensive tunnel and underground depot), so for the Northstar it does make sense to end it at a transit hub and have people transfer to access the central business district. The Gold Line can easily be routed through downtown, so there's no reason why it shouldn't be.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby at40man » October 30th, 2018, 3:05 pm

Scott Wood wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 12:24 am

You're disappointed by putting the station closer to origins/destinations?
Strawman argument. I'm arguing in favor of the downtown loop for the Gold Line, for cripe's sake. Please don't put words in my mouth.

People connected to the Green Line project and involved in that decision say that it was a primarily budget-conscious decision to run the Green Line in front of the Depot, and really had almost nothing to do with "putting the station closer to origins/destinations".

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Scott Wood » October 31st, 2018, 12:24 am

at40man wrote:
October 30th, 2018, 3:05 pm
Scott Wood wrote:
October 27th, 2018, 12:24 am

You're disappointed by putting the station closer to origins/destinations?
Strawman argument. I'm arguing in favor of the downtown loop for the Gold Line, for cripe's sake. Please don't put words in my mouth.

People connected to the Green Line project and involved in that decision say that it was a primarily budget-conscious decision to run the Green Line in front of the Depot, and really had almost nothing to do with "putting the station closer to origins/destinations".
It seemed like you were including yourself in the "many - MANY - people" who were disappointed by it (I can think of a few reasons why one might support the Gold Line extension even while disagreeing with the Green Line station placement). If that's not what you meant, then read my previous post as "they" instead of "you".

Their motivation may have been budgetary but the outcome was a more usable station. It's disappointing that that vision for the Depot persists, as far as intra-metro transit is concerned.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Bakken2016 » November 2nd, 2018, 1:37 pm

http://www.startribune.com/gold-line-bu ... 499353131/

Downtown routing chosen by advisory committee, but will still be studying ending at Union Depot. Glad this is going in the right direction.

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby DanPatchToget » November 2nd, 2018, 4:08 pm

Bakken2016 wrote:
November 2nd, 2018, 1:37 pm
http://www.startribune.com/gold-line-bu ... 499353131/

Downtown routing chosen by advisory committee, but will still be studying ending at Union Depot. Glad this is going in the right direction.
Still boggles my mind that they're still considering it just so they can say people are actually using the depot throughout day. With a stop near the depot entrance it seems to be a win-win for a downtown routing. I'm sure a handful of Gold Line riders will go inside the depot for whatever reason (just visiting, taking Amtrak or an intercity bus, connecting with a local bus, an event, etc.).

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Re: Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

Postby Silophant » November 2nd, 2018, 6:30 pm

I'm cynical enough to not be surprised that they're considering it, but I am surprised that Ortega is coming out and admitting that's the reason, and not pretending like using SPUD would make the route better somehow.


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