Gold Line (Gateway Corridor) BRT

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Tcmetro
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Gold Line (Gateway Corridor) BRT

Postby Tcmetro » September 7th, 2012, 9:40 am

An update about the AA was posted in August. The TSM, the BRT and LRT lines through the neighborhoods in St. Paul, and the Commuter Rail have all been dismissed. Remaining are LRT and BRT lines along I-94 and the Managed Lane concept.

The BRT and LRT concepts were modified to run along the south side of I-94 in Woodbury, providing better pedestrian access to the Woodbury Dr and Manning Ave stations. All alternatives have been shortened to Manning Ave. An additional station has been added at Landfall for the LRT and BRT alternatives. In the Managed Lane alternative McKnight has been moved to 3M, and White Bear to Ruth Ave.

To reduce operating cost estimates, service in the off-peak hours has been reduced to 30 minutes. Additionally, the conceptual Twin Cities-Eau Claire bus has been removed.

http://www.thegatewaycorridor.com/docum ... zation.pdf

To recap from earlier in the year, the proposed ridership and capital cost estimates are listed below:
Alt. 5 LRT - 9100 riders/day, $980 million, CEI - $96.6
Alt. 3 BRT - 5400 riders/day, $420 million, CEI - $86.5
Alt. 8 Managed Lane - 4600 riders/day, $590 million, CEI - $112.9

http://www.thegatewaycorridor.com/docum ... iators.pdf

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby mattaudio » September 7th, 2012, 9:48 am

I know the east siders had some vocal opponents to LRT on street ROW. Sad to hear that option is dismissed. What's the point of freeway-running LRT? Freeways are so hostile to walkable station areas.

I think the solution for the next 20-30 years in this area is to have freeway BRT to match the peak-hour express buses to stations/P&Rs

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby twincitizen » September 7th, 2012, 10:22 am

I like what I'm hearing. The best service for East 7th is Rapid Bus (arterial BRT), not Gateway Corridor.

I generally agree with the notion that freeway-running LRT/BRT is not optimal, because the station areas are unwalkable. I feel like I've seen enough AA's at this point that the outcome is predictable and well known in advance.

This corridor does not have the ridership to support LRT at this time. (under 10k riders/day)

Option 3 BRT has been the front runner all along. I like the station location changes and that it will run on the south side of I-94 in Woodbury, east of the 694/494 junction. Seems like the public involvement process is working well for this line.

A few questions/concerns not addressed in these updates though:

What (if any) are the stations west of SunRay?
Does it through-route to Minneapolis?
I think ridership declines significantly if this line ends in downtown St. Paul and forces transfer to the Green Line.(~40 minutes to DT MPLS)

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby woofner » September 7th, 2012, 11:57 am

Is there really a difference between a freeway-running transit service and one that runs on a frontage road? Other than that the freeway-running service is much faster.
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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby woofner » September 7th, 2012, 12:13 pm

Also, why would they have a stop at the industrial park in the crotch of 94/494/694 instead of Radio Dr? The latter appears to have more jobs/residents.
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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby twincitizen » September 7th, 2012, 9:04 pm

I can't believe I didn't catch that. No station near Tamarack Village, Oakdale Village or Woodbury Lakes (the three major shopping centers around (I-94 and Radio). It seems to pass somewhat close to all 3, plus there is a current Park & Ride at Guardian Angels church, next to Best Buy.

I bet if that former State Farm corporate campus wasn't vacant, there would be a station near Radio.

Think of how much underutilized parking exists at these 3 malls. And then think about how we as taxpayers are going to spend several million to build more parking that is only utilized certain hours of the day. It seems we could work something out here with the property owner...

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby mulad » September 21st, 2012, 8:57 am

I was forwarded a copy of the Gateway Corridor newsletter. They've been re-evaluating some routes a bit, though the changes haven't been huge. They're still dismissing LRT & BRT options along East 7th Street & White Bear Avenue. East of I-494, the #3 (BRT) and #5 (LRT) alignments now have "optimized" alternatives running along the frontage roads (mostly the south side) rather than the highway median. Their modeling suggests that there isn't any advantage to adding a station at Radio Drive.
Additional Research Helps Modify Transit Plans

After presenting the rankings of the eight transit options for the Gateway Corridor this spring, additional comments suggested changes to transit routes, station locations and transit frequency. These comments prompted additional research and evaluation of the proposed transit options. The findings of this evaluation will help determine the best transit options for the entire corridor.

East Seventh Street and White Bear Avenue
Proposed BRT and LRT along East Seventh Street and White Bear Avenue in St. Paul were further examined with the goal of reducing impact to properties. Additional evaluation found that the design could only be narrowed by four feet for proper BRT and LRT operations, which would not result in a meaningful reduction of property acquisition.

BRT and LRT along I-94
​Additional evaluation found that moving the BRT and LRT options along I-94 out of the highway median to south of the highway in Woodbury would provide more long-term economic development potential for the Corridor. This alignment would also provide a better walking environment for passengers.

Original alignment
gateway-corridor-3_5-original.png
Modified Alignment
gateway-corridor-3_5-optimized.png
Length of the Corridor
The length of the Corridor was also reassessed to determine the optimal location for ending BRT and LRT operations. Suggestions were made to shorten some alternatives to Radio Drive. It was found that this would reduce captial costs, but also greatly reduce ridership. Therefore, Manning Avenue was found to be the best location to end all BRT and LRT, although, bus trips will still continue on to Carmichael Road in Hudson.

Station Locations
Additional transit stations were also evaluated, including a transit station in Landfall and at Radio Drive for BRT and LRT options along I-94. Adding a station in Landfall would be beneficial, as it would increase ridership without significantly increasing costs. However, it was determined that a station at Radio Drive would not increase ridership. The Radio Drive station will not be evaluated as part of this study, but could be considered in the future.

Your Comments Wanted:
The Gateway Corridor Commission is still collecting comments on its Alternative Analysis Study. Please email any comments on the findings of the extended evaluation or requests for presentations to GatewayCorridor@co.washington.mn.us. There will also be official comment period on the draft recommendation of alternatives to be carried forward into Environmental Assessment after the October 11 comment period. More detailed information can be found in the August Project Update.
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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby mulad » October 12th, 2012, 1:32 pm

The Strib says this is going to be BRT from Saint Paul to Woodbury, according to a decision by the Gateway Corridor Commission. The article says LRT is "an option still on the table", but I doubt I'll be placing any bets on that.

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/173917661.html

If LRT or streetcar service continues to be contemplated on Saint Paul's East Side, I figure it would be better to roughly follow the old streetcar corridor that went up to White Bear Lake.

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby twincitizen » October 12th, 2012, 1:36 pm

I'm hoping this jumps in front of Bottineau for CTIB and federal funding.

Although I am skeptical about the portion of the route between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis. For this to be successful, it has to be a one-seat ride from Woodbury to Minneapolis and basically replace the Route 94 between the downtowns. In the studies, all it mentions for "Segment 1" is managed lanes on 94, which we don't have yet. I feel like since the study group was east-metro based, they paid very little attention to this segment.

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby LRV Op Dude » October 16th, 2012, 11:02 am

by mulad »
The Strib says this is going to be BRT from Saint Paul to Woodbury, according to a decision by the Gateway Corridor Commission. The article says LRT is "an option still on the table", but I doubt I'll be placing any bets on that.
Now if it had a buses like this one and on dedicated lanes. That would be really cool

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby Tcmetro » October 24th, 2012, 9:19 pm

AA will be released soon, and DEIS should be finished by next winter. After that, the LPA can be amended into the TPP, and engineering work can begin. BRT is clearly the best option for this corridor.

Here is the latest newsletter:
http://www.thegatewaycorridor.com/docum ... -Final.pdf

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby stp1980 » October 27th, 2012, 10:29 am

Looking at the map for stations it should include one at Radio Drive in Woodbury too. There is a large amount of shopping in that area and many townhomes that could be walkable. If this gets built as signal priority and as a mostly dedicated right of way then it would be relatively successful. Hell I could get from Saint Paul to my parent's house in a reasonable amount of time!

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby Tcmetro » November 4th, 2012, 12:37 pm


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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby twincitizen » November 27th, 2012, 12:55 pm

Not sure if there's any new information here, but enjoy nonetheless: Transit stations moved into Woodbury

Washington County has a deep interest in potential economic development associated with Gateway Corridor because of the money-generating power of Woodbury, the county's largest city. Woodbury is the county's economic engine, producing considerable tax revenue, and the city wants to open a major new business district on vacant land in the northeast corner of the city.

The Manning Avenue station would be built in that business development, according to current plans.

But city and county leaders also hope that transit will attract a tenant for the huge State Farm complex at I-94 and Radio Drive that's sat empty for eight years. Woodbury lost 1,500 jobs when State Farm moved its headquarters to Lincoln, Neb., and a smaller office in Mendota Heights.


Hmmm...maybe there should be a station located at Radio Drive then? Seems incredibly foolish not to...

Also, there's a plan for a Metro Transit Park & Ride facility (surface lot for now) at I-94 & Manning in the very near future (i.e. pre-Gateway). I honestly wouldn't be surprised if Metro Transit's facility planners are not even communicating with the Gateway people over the location/implementation of it. That's not a condemnation of either party, but of the sad state of our fragmented regional transit planning. Good job Met Council / County RRA's :roll:

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby woofner » November 30th, 2012, 10:48 am

Interesting reasoning for not advancing the Managed Lanes alternative given in a recent presentation for the Met Council Transportation Committee:
  • Fewer Station and location in middle of freeway offer less economic development opportunity compared to other alternatives
  • Does not qualify for FTA New Starts funding under MAP-21
I have a feeling all this emphasis on economic development from transit projects is going to bite someone in the ass. Also, I would be curious to know whether they considered using only highway money for this project, and if so, why they couldn't or decided against it. The Managed Lanes alternative had a good score, so if these are the only reasons for rejecting it, I would hope they would have at least looked into that funding option.
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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby twincitizen » December 15th, 2012, 4:05 pm


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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby mulad » June 18th, 2013, 7:35 am

I saw this PiPress article on the Gateway Corridor yesterday, and was left scratching my head since it seemed like it could have been written two years ago. There's mention of a "Gateway Corridor: Fostering an East Side Transit Conversation Study" which will run until the end of 2013. Community meetings may begin in July.

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... us-transit

I talked to a former coworker when I stopped by the "Better Block" event at Margaret Street & East 7th Street a week ago, who mentioned that his wife has been involved with some Gateway Corridor stuff, so I may have to poke them about this.

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby at40man » June 18th, 2013, 1:47 pm

I thought it was already a done-deal, and they were studying alignment and merits of BRT vs LRT on this route :?:

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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby mattaudio » June 27th, 2013, 1:02 pm


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Re: Gateway Corridor

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 28th, 2013, 7:37 am

As a Cleveland resident currently, and as a rider of the Healthline myself (monthly, for dr. appts. at the Cleveland Clinic), I can assure you that the Transit Commish is blowing a lot of hot air our way. Firstly, there is very little that is NOT "bus" about Cleveland's BRT "Healthline". It looks like a bus, it feels like a bus, smells like a bus, and the people who ride it act very much like bus riders act (which is to say they can act very crazy at times). It stops seemingly every other block and it can take 30 minutes to travel from downtown Cleveland to the Clinic, which can't be much more than 5 miles. So forget the word "rapid" too while you're at it! If anything, these are how modern-day bus systems should be designed, but it's hardly a different/more efficient form of transit.

As for the supposed $4 billion infusion of development along the Healthline, I call serious bullshit! The Cleveland Clinic -- very much like the Mayo Clinic -- is a massive hospital system that is a beacon of light for Cleveland area and as such it has seen continued growth and importance over the years, especially as the general population continues to age and require more healthcare. This isn't unique to Cleveland by any means. The Cleveland Clinic just so happened to get way ahead of the curve on expanding and developing newer facilities than the Mayo Clinic, who is also calling for $4-$5 billion in new investments (btw, as far as I know there is not a BRT, LRT, HSR, etc. transit line being built or existing between Rochester and the Twin Cities). The development in and around the Cleveland Clinic is almost 100% attributable to the Clinic itself and the growth of that community (think S. Minneapolis and the Children's and Allina Hospitals, but on a larger scale). It's a case of the "chicken and the egg", and it's easy to say "see, it worked" when you're connecting THE two largest employment centers in the Cleveland area together with a new bus line (yes, I said "bus").

Finally, the "Gateway Corridor" is absolutely nothing like the "Healthline Corridor" in Cleveland. Firstly, the Healthline is 100% urban and on city streets (like the "Central Corridor" almost), and doesn't go anywhere near any suburbs or greenfield areas. Second, the Healthline connects Cleveland's two largest employment centers, unlike the Gateway Corridor in the Twin Cities. Third, between downtown and the Cleveland Clinic, there is so much opportunity for growth and expansion in those immediate areas and both areas are major catalysts for development in their own right, and already have MAJOR transit options and connectors, such as RTA (Cleveland's bus and heavy rail transit system). Fourth, Cleveland already has heavy rail and a fairly adequate network that's been in existance for almost a century (unlike the Twin Cities), and one of those spokes (the Red Line) already travels VERY close to the Euclid Avenue corridor where the Healthline operates, so it wouldn't make much sense to spend over $1 billion for an LRT line. Fifth, Cleveland needs a shot in the arm more than the Twin Cities do, and the Healthline was a more worthwhile risk the city could afford to take IMO because it had little to lose by not doing it (that's debatable obviously). Sixth, the Healthline connects the Clinic to Downtown where there is a central station ("Tower City") that connects to the airport as well, so Clinic guests could literally fly into the airport and be at the clinic without a car. The Twin Cities and Rochester are also looking for ways to make it easier to get back and forth, so a line connecting two incredibly important and interdynamic entities is almost essential these days (which is why there are so many studies being done to connect MSP to Rochester).

All in all, I am not a huge proponent of BRT and I really think that any "success" in Cleveland (if you want to call it that) is NOT repeatable here in MSP whatsoever, simply because the scenarios couldn't be much different.


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