Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

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min-chi-cbus
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 17th, 2015, 7:57 am

Okay, a quick and dirty question.......what would you guys say the chances are of this project getting approved and under construction by 2017-18? 75%, 90%, 100%?

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Tiller
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » June 17th, 2015, 2:12 pm

Didn't the option for metro transit to purchase additional lrvs for swlrt, as an extension of their green line lrv purchases, have a deadline sometime this summer? Wouldn't want the cost of the trains to escalate as well...

grant1simons2
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » June 18th, 2015, 11:17 am

Another great example of why this is a necessary transit option. I just helped a man who lives in the cedar riverside neighborhood get to a warehouse job that pays $13 an hour. There are good paying jobs like this in higher quantities in the suburbs because of the higher number of industrial businesses. The problem is now that the latest bus leaving from the station going back downtown is 3:14 pm. He's going to need to have a tighter schedule now because of this or end up buying a car. I've met other people like him while waiting for the bus so this isn't just some random case.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby anders » June 19th, 2015, 4:17 am

grant1simons2 wrote:Another great example of why this is a necessary transit option. I just helped a man who lives in the cedar riverside neighborhood get to a warehouse job that pays $13 an hour. There are good paying jobs like this in higher quantities in the suburbs because of the higher number of industrial businesses. The problem is now that the latest bus leaving from the station going back downtown is 3:14 pm. He's going to need to have a tighter schedule now because of this or end up buying a car. I've met other people like him while waiting for the bus so this isn't just some random case.
But why does that show SWLRT is necessary? Couldn't there be more frequent bus service? How many of these reverse commuters are actually forecasted to ride SWLRT? I admit I'm out of the loop, but has the ridership methodology changed at all in the last ~6 years? They used to forecast over 1,000 people a day getting on at 21st Street. :roll:

I'm not trying to troll, but I think we need to look deeper at the cost-benefit since those numbers certainly have changed in the past 5 to 10 years of planning.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby froggie » June 19th, 2015, 4:47 am

If anything, given what the trend has been over the past decade, they're UNDERforecasting ridership...

Viktor Vaughn
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » June 19th, 2015, 8:34 am

The trend has been to underestimate urban ridership and overestimate suburban ridership. So does Southwest more closely resemble the destination rich existing Blue and Green Lines or the more suburban Northstar and Red Line? I'd hope for the results like the former, but given the transit amenable urban parts of the corridor are bypassed, I expect the ridership will be as disappointing as the latter.

Also, I anticipate the A Line ridership will exceed projections, keeping with this trend.

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Tiller
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » June 19th, 2015, 9:03 am

Viktor Vaughn wrote:The trend has been to underestimate urban ridership and overestimate suburban ridership. So does Southwest more closely resemble the destination rich existing Blue and Green Lines or the more suburban Northstar and Red Line?
There's not enough there to justify a trend. Northstar and the Red Line are different beasts entirely. Northstar didn't make it to St cloud, resulting in it's disappointing ridership. The Red Line is a bus line to a mall/airport from the exurbs (who thought that was a good idea?). It's more than a stretch to say the green line extension will underperform because those two did.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » June 19th, 2015, 10:30 am

I agree there's not enough data to show a statistical correlation; it's just my theory based on the data points we have. Clearly SW will have many more riders than Northstar. I just expect it to underperform forecasts because it mostly stops in areas with transit hostile land uses and few existing transit users. Many of the transit users that are present (Eden Prairie park and riders), are better served by express buses to downtown. This group will show us the limits of rail bias if/when SW opens.

This line is much more in the mold of our disappointing transit than our successfull transit. SW lacks an anchor on both ends, walkable station areas, destinations with broad appeal, existing transit users, reverse commuters, and non-commuter and weekend demand.

That's not to say it will be as useless as the Red Line, but it will also cost far more.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » June 19th, 2015, 10:33 am

Is there any comprehensive study of projections vs actuals based on land use variation? That's what we'd be looking for here, and I think it would be relatively consistent across metro areas.

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woofner
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby woofner » June 19th, 2015, 11:07 am

Viktor Vaughn wrote:SW lacks an anchor on both ends, walkable station areas, destinations with broad appeal, existing transit users, reverse commuters, and non-commuter and weekend demand.
Outside of downtown, Hiawatha goes through 5.5 mi of walkable urban space with 7 stations in that stretch. SW goes through 5 mi of walkable urban space (from West Calhoun to Shady Oak) with 7 stations in that stretch. Sure, SLP and Hopkins need some more infrastructure work to be as walkable as South Minneapolis, but in land use intensity they're pretty comparable, aren't they? Similarly, Opus and the Golden Triangle have 60k jobs to the 25k in the Airport/MOA area. Obviously the jobs served by SWLRT are less dense than those served by Hiawatha, but it's still a huge increase in job accessibility and it's unrealistic to expect that no one is going to take advantage of the new access to transit. SLP and Hopkins have few existing transit users, yes, but they also have slow, unreliable transit service. How are you going to get them to use transit there without giving them better transit? (Btw transit use has been growing there as more frequency is added to the 12 and 17.)

To sum things up, the prime difference between the areas served by SWLRT and Hiawatha isn't land use, it's existing access to transit. The Southwest suburbs are ready to use transit, they just need access to do so.
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Viktor Vaughn » June 19th, 2015, 11:30 am

I think St louis Park and Hopkins are among the better stops, though they're not exactly walkable. West Calhoun is so suburban stripmally I'm not sure that would qualify as walkable urban either. Hiawatha goes through a lot of low density stuff, but it also has the West Bank, Franklin and Lake Street stops before it gets there.

The other main advantage of Hiawatha over SW is being anchored by the Airport and MoA. Granted Eden Prairie Town Center isn't exactly Big Lake, but there's not any regional destinations either.

I'm sure there are ways to do much more to improve transit to St louis Park and Hopkins for much less money. If you want to spend a billion or more on rail transit (I do!), I think an urban alignment to Hopkins would be very successful.

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Tiller
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » June 19th, 2015, 11:48 am

Remember that this runs through Minneapolis, all the way to St Paul (green line), so we'll begin to see the multiplier effect our pre-existing system will have on new lines' ridership. That'll also weigh towards underestimating and not overestimating ridership, since they aren't allowed to factor that in to the projections [yet(?)].

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » June 24th, 2015, 7:02 pm

Eden Prairie makes a (really good) pitch to move SWLRT forward: http://finance-commerce.com/2015/06/ede ... west-line/

End at SW Station, defer EP Town Center, defer Penn, defer P&R at Shady Oak. Unknown how much cash this will save overall, but it all sounds pretty reasonable

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » June 24th, 2015, 8:48 pm

Viktor Vaughn wrote:I think St louis Park and Hopkins are among the better stops, though they're not exactly walkable. West Calhoun is so suburban stripmally I'm not sure that would qualify as walkable urban either. Hiawatha goes through a lot of low density stuff, but it also has the West Bank, Franklin and Lake Street stops before it gets there.

The other main advantage of Hiawatha over SW is being anchored by the Airport and MoA. Granted Eden Prairie Town Center isn't exactly Big Lake, but there's not any regional destinations either.

I'm sure there are ways to do much more to improve transit to St louis Park and Hopkins for much less money. If you want to spend a billion or more on rail transit (I do!), I think an urban alignment to Hopkins would be very successful.
West Calhoun has strip malls nearby but there's also a very high population density nearby as well. I expect West Calhoun to be a VERY busy station as-is, and all-the-more once they redevelop the current strip malls around that station.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby grant1simons2 » June 24th, 2015, 9:12 pm

twincitizen wrote:Eden Prairie makes a (really good) pitch to move SWLRT forward: http://finance-commerce.com/2015/06/ede ... west-line/

End at SW Station, defer EP Town Center, defer Penn, defer P&R at Shady Oak. Unknown how much cash this will save overall, but it all sounds pretty reasonable
This makes a lot of sense! Will the rail still be cutting through the backyards of businesses near Lake Idlewild? Or did they have some common sense and move it onto the side of Technology drive? Also, deferring Shady Oak P&R could be interesting. It could mean it could never be built because there would be little demand. I'm actually really liking this delay..

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » June 24th, 2015, 10:13 pm

I guess we'll see what numbers they come up with, but I'm not convinced that plan will save enough money. As I understand it, the stations aren't the expensive part, building the viaducts over swamps and whatever is. But, it would be good if they can make it work. If we're going to spend a billion and a half dollars building this thing, we shouldn't Northstar it.

Can someone explain how deferring the P&R limits the station area redevelopment potential? Are they expecting apartment buildings and things to only be built if the residents are able to drive a block to the P&R rather than walking it?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » June 24th, 2015, 10:19 pm

Maybe the park and ride development potential relates to the predicted park and riders who in theory would grab a thing or two from retail and restaurants that would pop up around it. With fewer park and riders the desirability is diminished for prospective retail candidates. Diminished retail opportunities brings diminished residential opportunities?

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » June 25th, 2015, 6:31 am

I read that as the P&R at Shady Oak would require a property acquisition. That piece of property or properties would be used for parking as well as development. So by not acquiring the property at all, the development opportunity is lost, at least in the interim.

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tcmetro » June 25th, 2015, 6:56 am

This presentation from yesterday's SW LRT meeting suggests that the City of Eden Prairie plan reported in Finance and Commerce is *not* being considered by the Met Council, and that Alt. C is being considered instead.

Alt C. would:
- End service at Eden Prairie Town Center.
- Defer Penn.
- Delete SW Station and Mitchell Rd.
- Delete ped/bike structures at Penn, Beltline, Louisiana, and Opus.
- Decreasing spaces at Beltline and Blake, resulting in lots instead of ramps.
- Decreasing spaces at Downtown Hopkins, Opus, and City West.
- Decreasing spaces at Shady Oak and relocating the lot closer to the OMF.
- Increase spaces at Golden Triangle, converting a lot to a ramp.

- Total park and ride spaces would reduce by 1711 to 1939 spaces.
- Costs would be $1.62-$1.63 billion.
- Cost reductions would be $364-406 million.
- Ridership would be 31,450

http://metrocouncil.org/METC/files/32/3 ... a26a5e.pdf

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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby David Greene » June 25th, 2015, 8:40 am

twincitizen wrote:Eden Prairie makes a (really good) pitch to move SWLRT forward: http://finance-commerce.com/2015/06/ede ... west-line/

End at SW Station, defer EP Town Center, defer Penn, defer P&R at Shady Oak. Unknown how much cash this will save overall, but it all sounds pretty reasonable
I'm confused. EP was adamently against cutting the line back to Golden Triangle because Town Center was a critical station. But now it is not so critical?


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