Gold Line BRT (Gateway Corridor)

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twincitizen
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » September 25th, 2014, 9:18 am

http://www.startribune.com/local/east/275833351.html

No source is attributed to this information, but Kevin Giles at the Strib reports that this will soon be renamed the Gold Line.

Interesting that they went metallic before Purple or Yellow. (Though I'd like to reserve one of those colors for Midtown)

mattaudio
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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » September 25th, 2014, 9:29 am

Was it ever studied how much BRT (or LRT) would cost if it terminated at 3M rather than further east? Seems like we chose corridor (including endpoints) and technology before we actually dug into any metrics that would determine value.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » October 7th, 2014, 10:14 am

Yup, looks like the Gateway Commission is going to ask the Met Council to name this one the METRO Gold Line. See page 15.

http://thegatewaycorridor.com/documents ... Packet.pdf

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 7th, 2014, 10:41 am

mattaudio wrote:Was it ever studied how much BRT (or LRT) would cost if it terminated at 3M rather than further east? Seems like we chose corridor (including endpoints) and technology before we actually dug into any metrics that would determine value.
Nope, because Washington County is the lead agency on this project. Ending at 3M would be pretty antithetical to their interests. Ramsey County has been a willing partner in this, at best. If this was a Ramsey County led project, I believe it would be pretty far down the picking order.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Lancestar2 » October 7th, 2014, 6:31 pm

twincitizen wrote:http://www.startribune.com/local/east/275833351.html

No source is attributed to this information, but Kevin Giles at the Strib reports that this will soon be renamed the Gold Line.

Interesting that they went metallic before Purple or Yellow. (Though I'd like to reserve one of those colors for Midtown)
I thought maybe it has something to do with the Packers and Viking both having the color Gold. Some type of bridge to say "we have much in common". Just how the red line goes through Apple Valley the city with the extreme obsession with painting objects red. While the Orange lines pays tribute to one of the two season along 35w "road construction" season's orange (how is that for a sublimial advertisement?)

Which leads me to my question, Is there any chance in the future we will see an addition to include 1-2 stops in Hudson? Is it realistic to see Metro Transit working with WI? Would there be any benefit, is there enough demand to make the numbers improve enough to cover the extra cost? I think Hudson seems like a nice little town which sure would be nice to may be take a "mini vacation" for a night and explore the rural life. I would imagine at least sundays the busses would be pretty full of people in there early 20's and 30's. Plus taking the bus to the river to ride bike on the local trails seems like another incentive to drive usage, right? Either way I'm curious to see what the experts think.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » October 7th, 2014, 7:27 pm

A few years ago there was a process to determine which colors should be used for transit lines. They were supposed to be simple for passengers who may not speak English and are not supposed to be derivatives of other colors (i.e. no Blue and Aqua line). Additionally, I believe they wanted one syllable names, i.e. no Purple or Yellow.

I'm not so sure on a Hudson extension. There is certainly demand for some sort of transit from Wisconsin, but it is the duty of their local governments to initiate such a service. I don't think an extension of the Gold Line is the right answer. Certainly the demand is not high enough for a BRT service, but perhaps a small shuttle type bus connecting to the Manning Road Station is good enough for off-peak hours, and perhaps a direct express line to St. Paul with coach buses during peak hours are more than satisfactory.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby at40man » October 9th, 2014, 9:37 am

twincitizen wrote:
mattaudio wrote:Was it ever studied how much BRT (or LRT) would cost if it terminated at 3M rather than further east? Seems like we chose corridor (including endpoints) and technology before we actually dug into any metrics that would determine value.
Nope, because Washington County is the lead agency on this project. Ending at 3M would be pretty antithetical to their interests. Ramsey County has been a willing partner in this, at best. If this was a Ramsey County led project, I believe it would be pretty far down the picking order.
Not to mention Woodbury is a bedroom community for 3M. Half the people here seem to live in Woodbury. Given the fairly short distance between Woodbury and 3M -- plus overflowing parking lots at 3M -- it doesn't make much sense to terminate the line at 3M. I honestly can't imagine that having the line run on the north side of I-94 is going to be a deterrent for Woodbury 3Mers taking the BRT to work...

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 9th, 2014, 9:56 am

Let's be real though. Who's going to leave their garage in Woodbury, drive to a Park & Ride in Lake Elmo, and take a (likely) low frequency bus to the (assumed free) parking at 3M's suburban campus?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2014, 10:33 am

Ding ding ding.

Not to mention the congestion that far east is minimal to non-existent. If we need to serve tens of 3M workers who will choose to drive to a P&R (along 94, where they could just get on the highway and drive a few miles further, instead of paying $4.50/day for transit), this is a damn expensive way to do it.

It isn't that this is a terrible transit line...it's just decades ahead of its time. Which makes sense, since it really jumped ahead in the regional queue due to the persistence of a Wash. Co. Commissioner (and is a play to keep them in CTIB) and lack of other projects in the east metro.

This is a 2040 line that could possibly operating in the early 2020s.

What Washington County, this corridor in particular, need today is more express service and any local service whatsoever to build ridership. 3M could totally be served by express buses exiting at Century/McKnight between Washington County and DT St. Paul.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby FISHMANPET » October 9th, 2014, 12:44 pm

Has anyone done the math on how much we'd lose from CTIB if Washington County left vs how much we're spending to keep them? And does the CTIB put anything towards operations, or is it all capital for expansion?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2014, 1:24 pm

Not much. Washington County is very, very light on retail-generating sales tax. There's big ol' Woodbury and everything else is pretty lightweight (compared to Dakota and Anoka Counties which have multiple 60,000-person suburbs).

However, they've been paying into CTIB since 2008 and haven't gotten much other than studies. If Gateway's total cost is $500MM, the 30% CTIB share is $150MM. I think it will still be many, many years before Washington County's CTIB share reaches that amount.

Here's the 2013 CTIB Legislative report: http://www.mnrides.org/sites/default/fi ... .30.14.pdf
I haven't found an exact per county figure though.

The best guess I can hazard is that CTIB in total generates roughly $100MM annually. Washington County is good for 6% of that, according to the chart shared on streets.mn not long ago: https://streets.mn/2014/06/25/charts-of- ... generated/

My best educated guess is that Washington County generates somewhere in the ballpark of $6MM/year. Since CTIB's inception in 2008, they have only been granted about $12MM total. So they could potentially have $20-25MM owed by CTIB already and generate $6MM annually. That's still a long, long way to $150MM. Not to mention Washington County itself would be paying a 10% share of the budget, or $50MM. I think there's still a chance this all falls apart or they admit that it is still many years in the future.

I just don't see how this works out for them. Even if this line doesn't open for 10 years (2024), and their sales taxes grow significantly (to say, $7MM annually, or >15% growth over today), they're going to be paying CTIB back until at least 2030. And that's Washington County's ONE transit line they're going to get. You can kiss Red Rock goodbye. Not to mention, I'm not sure if $6-7MM annually is enough to pay 50% of the operating budget share. Basically every citizen of Washington County has been paying an extra .25% sales tax for this one BRT line, from 2008-2030, with no hope of a transit system to serve anyone who doesn't live within 4-5 mile vicinity of I-94. That really sucks.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby EOst » October 9th, 2014, 1:33 pm

What percentage of the line is in Ramsey county, though?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby Tom H. » October 9th, 2014, 1:33 pm

Doesn't Washington County have a guaranteed 3% annual grant (i.e., they receive 3% of CTIB net revenues each year)? I'm pretty sure they've just been deferring it for a while. The most recent number I could find in the meeting materials is ~$12M (as of 2012) earmarked specifically for Washington County, but not (I think) tied to any specific project.

CTIB took in $108M last year, and will easily reach $110-115M this year in sales tax receipts. Also, when the 2010 debt was issued, it listed Washington County as responsible for 5.5% of it, presumably in proportion to their sales tax contribution.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2014, 1:37 pm

Yeah, I don't know why I completely forgot about Ramsey County's obligation. How close is this to 50/50 in each county (geographically)? Boy, you really think Ramsey County would have taken a more active role in this project, wouldn't you? This whole thing has basically been the Lisa Weik show, down to the last detail.

Regardless, Washington County is still shooting their entire wad on this line, and they have no chance at getting anything else in the next two decades. It just seems like a bad idea to serve a narrow band of the county, and to not even serve it well (i.e. avoiding the developed area of Woodbury).

The entire thing kind of seems predicated on getting that sales tax increased by another .25% - .5%.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 9th, 2014, 1:45 pm

So we'd be better off financially just kicking Washington out of CTIB, and refunding them the net tax collected in their county which could maybe be used one-time by the county for transit (if the legislature allowed) or refunded. Better off to the tune of well over one hundred million dollars.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 9th, 2014, 1:53 pm

Not necessarily. Once you factor in Ramsey County's share, they're maybe ok on coming up with the money by 2030. It's just kind of sad that all of their money is going towards a BRT line with a sub-par routing that poorly serves their population and jobs. I think the very structure of CTIB is so that everyone gets a fair deal, even if it's spread out over decades. A fair number of Wisconsin residents shop in Woodbury too, so Wash. Co. taxpayers aren't bearing 100% of the brunt of it either.

It would be untrue to say they are ripping off the other 4 counties. They aren't getting anything else though...and I'd keep an eye on that operating budget...

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 9th, 2014, 1:58 pm

If we actually viewed transit as a way to connect places and move people rather than a development tool, Gold Line would probably lose to some sort of service on the Red Rock corridor, even BRT. Or they could have looked at BRT to 3M, then south on Century to Newport, St. Paul Park, and Cottage Grove. Those are existing places with existing sortawalkability and existing transit dependent populations. In Washington County.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby froggie » October 10th, 2014, 8:14 am

Last week (after a comment of Matt's), I sent an E-mail to the Gateway Corridor people asking if they had considered stopping the line at 3M Headquarters. I got an E-mail from one of the corridor planners with a response yesterday, verbatim below:

we looked at stopping service somewhere near 694/494 (instead of Manning) and that drastically reduced ridership. A ton of riders are coming from suburban locations to jobs in St. Paul or at 3M and not connecting directly to those locations had a negative impact.

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby mattaudio » October 10th, 2014, 8:20 am

So I understand people on a forum shooting from the hip thinking that suburban east metro commuters would use the Gold Line "BRT" to access the suburban 3M campus. But a legitimate planner made that claim too?

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Re: Gold Line (Gateway Corridor BRT)

Postby twincitizen » October 13th, 2014, 9:59 am

http://finance-commerce.com/2014/10/kel ... teway-brt/

Sounds like the Gold Line may tilt the scales in favor of a new Kellogg Ave bridge, instead of repairs.


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