Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Qhaberl
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Qhaberl » December 3rd, 2018, 4:14 pm

If driverless vehicles become a thing in the near future, I would hope that the companies around theses stations will use this mode for shuttling people from the rail to the employment.

If also feel that It will be critical to ensure that each station has bike share. The employment centers also need to have parking for bike share bikes.

I agree that there are many jobs in the half mile area of the stations, but my concern is getting people from the stations to the jobs.


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Korh
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Korh » December 3rd, 2018, 9:10 pm

With regards to how SWLRT will fare against express/standard buses, its important to point out that the latter only has better time if your going from end to end but some of the stops in between it seems like the former will be the better option

Tried making a (very) rough estimated of how long it will take to each of the proposed stations using our current network
(all times listed are departing from Target field station):
  • Royalston Avenue/Farmers Market Station: 10 mins (walk)
  • Bassett Creek Valley Station: 25-26 mins (20-21 during RH)
  • Bryn Mawr Station: 22 mins (little difference during RH)
  • West 21st Street Station: 45-59 mins (33-34 during RH)
  • West 21st Street Station: 42-46 mins (35-38 during RH)
  • Beltline Boulevard Station: 51-52 mins (42-44 during RH)
  • Wooddale Avenue Station: 52-53 mins (48-50 during RH)
  • Louisiana Avenue Station: 51-53 mins (44-45 during RH)
  • Blake Road Station: 58-68 mins (44-45 during RH)
  • Downtown Hopkins Station: 60-63 mins (40-51 during RH)
  • Shady Oak Station 75 mins (52-60 during RH)
  • Opus Station: 75-80 mins (68-70 during RH)
  • City West Station: 92-93 mins (82-86 during RH)
  • Golden Triangle Station: Only able to get to during RH (96-97 mins)
  • Eden Prairie Town Center Station: 66-69 mins (60-61 during RH)
  • SouthWest Station: 46-47 mins (little difference during RH)
Now if someone can dig up the proposed timetable for the route (and maybe give some more accurate time since I kinda don't trust my own numbers) I can maybe put some kind of image/chart together comparing them.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » December 4th, 2018, 12:06 am

The estimated end-to-end travel time is just under 32 minutes [1], though I haven't had any luck finding documents that break that down by station.

Tcmetro
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » December 4th, 2018, 2:32 am

Table 5-2 in the document you linked has the station by station breakdown.

Some travel times from Nicollet Mall (assumed 4 mins from Target Field):
West Lake : 13 mins
Hopkins : 22 mins
SouthWest Station : 36 mins

As an analog, the Blue Line to 46th St is 14 mins, Terminal 1 is 22 mins, and MOA is 35 mins.
The Green Line to Prospect Park is 13 mins, Snelling is 22 mins, 10th St is 37 mins, and Union Depot is 42 mins.

Multimodal
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Multimodal » December 4th, 2018, 7:04 am

Economists like to think that human beings are perfectly rational beings, but we are not.

We are creatures of habit. As any NIMBY-fighter will tell you, humans hate change. Especially change to their daily routine.

So the express bus might be a little faster. Whoopee. Once people realize (from friends, news, social media) that the train is faster—or even just more reliable—during inclement weather, then they’ll start taking it during inclement weather.

Once they do that a few times, game’s over for the bus. People are *not* going to think every morning, “Well, let’s see, the weather is nice today so I’m going to take the bus” or “Belinda says we’re getting snow today, so I’ll take the train instead” or worse yet, “Well, it might snow today, but it’s the first snow of the season, so the roads will be a mess”, etc.

No, people will not make those decisions every day. Too much mental work. People like routine. People like easy. Simple beats fast every time. It’s easier to just take the train every day and *know* you will get there at a set time, rather than do mental gymnastics to figure out what time you have to leave to get to the bus or train and how the weather or a big event might affect bus speed. We are not rational beings.

Some people will continue taking the bus because… they like routine and don’t want to change. But it won’t be an area of growth. LRT will be where the ridership growth is.

P.S. Does anyone know for sure that the express bus will continue once SWLRT starts? Is that a good use of limited transportation dollars? Or will it make more sense to use buses to “feed” the SWLRT transit stations?

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jtoemke
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby jtoemke » December 4th, 2018, 7:06 am

tmart wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 12:06 am
The estimated end-to-end travel time is just under 32 minutes [1], though I haven't had any luck finding documents that break that down by station.
That actually seems super competitive. Even to driving honestly - especially at rush hour traffic speeds. If I could guarantee myself a solid half hour everyday and lived in EP, I'd hop on board.

Does anyone live out there and know what rush hour takes driving from out there? I did a quick google route and it showed 24 mins from SouthWest station driving on MN100 but thats not PM peak traffic obviously.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » December 4th, 2018, 7:42 am

Multimodal wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 7:04 am
Economists like to think that human beings are perfectly rational beings, but we are not.

We are creatures of habit. As any NIMBY-fighter will tell you, humans hate change. Especially change to their daily routine.

So the express bus might be a little faster. Whoopee. Once people realize (from friends, news, social media) that the train is faster—or even just more reliable—during inclement weather, then they’ll start taking it during inclement weather.

Once they do that a few times, game’s over for the bus. People are *not* going to think every morning, “Well, let’s see, the weather is nice today so I’m going to take the bus” or “Belinda says we’re getting snow today, so I’ll take the train instead” or worse yet, “Well, it might snow today, but it’s the first snow of the season, so the roads will be a mess”, etc.

No, people will not make those decisions every day. Too much mental work. People like routine. People like easy. Simple beats fast every time. It’s easier to just take the train every day and *know* you will get there at a set time, rather than do mental gymnastics to figure out what time you have to leave to get to the bus or train and how the weather or a big event might affect bus speed. We are not rational beings.

Some people will continue taking the bus because… they like routine and don’t want to change. But it won’t be an area of growth. LRT will be where the ridership growth is.

P.S. Does anyone know for sure that the express bus will continue once SWLRT starts? Is that a good use of limited transportation dollars? Or will it make more sense to use buses to “feed” the SWLRT transit stations?
IIRC, apparently all existing SW Transit express service will stay the same when the Green Line Extension opens. I find that hard to believe since frequency at peak time in peak direction for the trunk route 690 is every 5-15 minutes. I think frequency will be cut, but I also don't think it will be doom and gloom for SW Transit.

The Met Council is proposing a bunch of little circulators around Eden Prairie connecting to Southwest Station, which I'm skeptical of any of them working out except to EP Center and Hennepin Tech. There needs to be better transit across the border to Bloomington and Edina.

amiller92
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » December 4th, 2018, 10:37 am

jtoemke wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 7:06 am

Does anyone live out there and know what rush hour takes driving from out there? I did a quick google route and it showed 24 mins from SouthWest station driving on MN100 but thats not PM peak traffic obviously.
Time + not having to drive in rush hour traffic sounds competitive to me, but I'm very much not the people having to make that decision. Seems like the challenge could be in the fact that those people are not ultimately going to the SW station, many (most?) will be in a car for part of their commute anyway.

Mind you if we could somehow put a price on the rest of their commute into downtown (in addition to parking), we could probably change some of those incentives.

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VacantLuxuries
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VacantLuxuries » December 4th, 2018, 10:43 am

Korh wrote: Now if someone can dig up the proposed timetable for the route (and maybe give some more accurate time since I kinda don't trust my own numbers) I can maybe put some kind of image/chart together comparing them.
Let me know if/when you've got that chart, I'd like to use it in an article for streets.

tmart
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby tmart » December 4th, 2018, 10:50 am

Tcmetro wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 2:32 am
Table 5-2 in the document you linked has the station by station breakdown.
Hmm, seeing it broken down that way makes me suspect that these might not be including time at stations, which could add pretty significantly to the total trip.

Korh
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Korh » December 4th, 2018, 7:33 pm

tmart wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 10:50 am
Tcmetro wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 2:32 am
Table 5-2 in the document you linked has the station by station breakdown.
Hmm, seeing it broken down that way makes me suspect that these might not be including time at stations, which could add pretty significantly to the total trip.
If that's the case, anyone got a good estimate to how long a train usually is stopped at a station? (my guess would be around 30-60 seconds)
VacantLuxuries wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 10:43 am

Let me know if/when you've got that chart, I'd like to use it in an article for streets.
I'll probably post it in the thread in a few days (assuming I get some decent/better numbers). your free to use it in an article so long as you link it back to the thread.

go4guy
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby go4guy » December 4th, 2018, 7:56 pm

Has the timing for the Green Line been shortened? I though I remembered that it was close to an hour from end to end when it first opened.

Also, 36 minutes from EP to downtown seems really fast considering how long of a route that is.

David Greene
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » December 4th, 2018, 8:14 pm

What's the top speed of SWLRT? I'm guessing its average speed will be greater than the Blue Line's since the Blue Line is limited to 45 MPH for most of its route and I don't think SWLRT will have the same limitation. It almost certainly will have a faster average speed than the current Green Line.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » December 4th, 2018, 8:18 pm

Multimodal wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 7:04 am
So the express bus might be a little faster. Whoopee. Once people realize (from friends, news, social media) that the train is faster—or even just more reliable—during inclement weather, then they’ll start taking it during inclement weather.

Once they do that a few times, game’s over for the bus.
Maybe, but I'm pretty skeptical. I think it much more likely that people will be (possibly irrationally) irritated by frequent stops at stations and will perceive the express bus to be faster simply because it's mostly always moving, albeit sometimes slowly. The corridor isn't really designed for outer-ring-to-downtown service, despite what the NIMBYs in Kenwood and CIDNA claim. Like the existing Green Line, its utilitty is much more in the interior station-to-station service with a boost from reverse commuters.

mamundsen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mamundsen » December 4th, 2018, 8:21 pm

I’m always AMAZED at how fast the Blue Line gets to Fort Snelling.

I ride 270 daily. Maplewood Mall to Nicollet Station is 15 miles and schedule says 34 min. I bet most days it’s closer to 38-39 min.

Fort Snelling to Nicollet station is 7.6 miles and schedule says 22 mins. I swear I’ve done it in under 20.

Southwest Station is 18 miles. I think under 40 is doable.

jebr
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby jebr » December 5th, 2018, 9:07 am

David Greene wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 8:18 pm
I think it much more likely that people will be (possibly irrationally) irritated by frequent stops at stations and will perceive the express bus to be faster simply because it's mostly always moving, albeit sometimes slowly. The corridor isn't really designed for outer-ring-to-downtown service, despite what the NIMBYs in Kenwood and CIDNA claim. Like the existing Green Line, its utilitty is much more in the interior station-to-station service with a boost from reverse commuters.
Maybe, though I think ride quality, especially versus stop-and-go or slow traffic, will counteract that to some extent. Anecdotally I've had people mention how much nicer the ride quality is on the light rail versus the bus (though this was riding the A Line,) but I'd imagine it'd still be smoother to ride the light rail than even a coach bus. That, paired with reliability and all-day frequency, will likely win out in the end if the schedule times are similar. (Now, if the bus is 10-15 minutes faster, then people will probably keep taking the bus for their "regular" commute with the light rail being backup for bad weather/non-rush hour trips.) It also depends on where your destination is in downtown and whether the express bus stops downtown are more convenient than the light rail stops downtown.

That said, SW Transit will likely be fine either way. They'll still run commuter service from their Chanhassan and Chaska park-and-rides, and any resources opened up from the light rail likely will be repurposed for local shuttle-style service. Midday and evening service will be the most interesting to watch - will SW Transit still run midday/evening service from their park and rides all the way downtown, or will they simply convert those to shuttle buses from Southwest Station, saving on mileage to/from downtown?

DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » December 5th, 2018, 9:48 am

Obviously things could change especially when the Green Line Extension opens, but Southwest Transit's couple attempts at local routes have failed miserably and I'm not sure how their two flex routes are currently doing. Maybe one or two fixed-route circulators within Eden Prairie could work, but it seems easier and more economical to just expand Southwest Prime with more buses and drivers and longer operating hours. That way they serve their entire territory with local service without needing infrequent fixed-route service that would likely have a subsidy per rider of at least $20.

amiller92
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » December 5th, 2018, 10:45 am

David Greene wrote:
December 4th, 2018, 8:18 pm
Like the existing Green Line, its utilitty is much more in the interior station-to-station service with a boost from reverse commuters.
That would be great if true, but there's not much there at a lot of stations - Bassett Creek Valley (old Royalston), 21st St, Beltline, Louisiana, Golden Triangle in particular don't have much for destinations. And that's being pretty generous to the rest, most of which have either housing or places of work, but no other draw.

Basically, it's West Lake, Downtown Hopkins and the Eden Prairie Mall area for destinations that are draws from the rest of the stations.

Multimodal
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Multimodal » December 5th, 2018, 2:31 pm

I’m thinking the many apartments built near the stations could be (and have been) built speculatively, but not food or entertainment or jobs.

Now that the light rail is a go, I expect a lot of mixed use and even non-housing projects to be proposed over the next 5 years, especially as we get closer to 2023.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby MNdible » December 5th, 2018, 2:51 pm

Yeah, it makes a lot of sense that the early projects are going to be housing only, and then more mixed-use projects would follow along after the residents and LRT are in place.


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