Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

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Anondson
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Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Anondson » January 31st, 2019, 10:12 am

I think an argument would be of statewide fairness. If a state is going to aid services (local public bus services) across the state but carve out a single county from getting those funds, then we can look forward to worse future redlined derangement of other types of state funding.

mattaudio
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mattaudio » January 31st, 2019, 11:12 am

Hennepin County is the economic engine of the state. Why do we send so much of our tax capacity to the state in the first place only to beg for them back? Let's do some sort of grand bargain... Rural MN doesn't pay for our buses, and we don't have to pay for their rural roads with less than 5,000 vehicles per day.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Silophant » January 31st, 2019, 11:14 am

OnE mInNeSoTa

grant1simons2
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby grant1simons2 » February 1st, 2019, 1:50 pm

Any confirmation if the 4 frequency would extend up to Northeast? Really hoping 20-30 minutes daytime frequency soon become a thing of a past.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » February 1st, 2019, 2:33 pm

It's between downtown and 38th St (which makes no sense given that good frequency is currently provided to 46th St)

The application information is available here:https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... tions.aspx

Bakken2016
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Bakken2016 » February 4th, 2019, 7:15 pm

https://kstp.com/news/metro-transit-lig ... ok_KSTP-TV

I’m sorry, but LRT is designed like this all over the world. Maybe there’s an issue with those not respecting the train and traffic signals!


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David Greene
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby David Greene » February 4th, 2019, 8:04 pm

KSTP, the Fox News of Minnesota. Actual local Fox 9 News is pretty decent, it turns out.

EDIT: I didn't read down to the byline at first. Jay Kolls. Why am I not surprised...
Last edited by David Greene on February 4th, 2019, 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » February 4th, 2019, 8:04 pm

In a better world the Green Line would've been a subway, but this world isn't exactly great.

This one accident does show we need to keep an eye on the LRT operators, but the majority of collisions are people not respecting the signal. No amount of signals, signage, bells, and horns can stop idiocy. Only grade-separation will keep people out of the way of trains.

NickP
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby NickP » February 4th, 2019, 10:14 pm

DanPatchToget wrote:
February 4th, 2019, 8:04 pm
In a better world the Green Line would've been a subway, but this world isn't exactly great.

This one accident does show we need to keep an eye on the LRT operators, but the majority of collisions are people not respecting the signal. No amount of signals, signage, bells, and horns can stop idiocy. Only grade-separation will keep people out of the way of trains.
I agree. I wouldn’t object to larger signals for the trains though. I also thought the Union Rep spoke well about the issue of fatigue, especially when going back and forth on the same route all day.

MNdible
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby MNdible » February 5th, 2019, 10:30 am

From the article:
Timlin said hiring more LRT operators is something that would contribute greatly to enhancing safety for the operators, passengers and the driving public.
Well, my stars, the leader of the train drivers union is bad-mouthing the system and thinks that the only answer is to hire more train drivers.

Maybe we should get Bob Kroll on the horn and see if he has any ideas about how to fix the MPD.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby NickP » February 5th, 2019, 5:11 pm

What prompts your response? I ask because I read the article and interpreted that bit very differently.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Anondson » February 6th, 2019, 5:26 pm

First week riding the bus observation: the stoplight timing going south on Marquette at Washington is a bit of a cluster. Seems impossibly short to get the express buses that pick up at Marquette and 2nd through. Ridiculously backed up.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mattaudio » February 7th, 2019, 9:42 am

I've noticed that too. Motorists blocking the box on cross streets further into the core don't help either, and oftentimes it seems like motorists turning left onto a backed-up northbound Marquette are interfering with southbound buses on Marquette.

One of the reasons I choose to take the train into/out of downtown on most days even though it means a transfer to a bus.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Silophant » February 7th, 2019, 9:46 am

As much as it's preferable to walk along Washington, I've started always walking home from work along 3rd St because it's difficult and terrifying to cross Marquette at Washington during the evening rush, for that exact reason.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » February 9th, 2019, 6:46 pm

There is consideration of cutting Route 614, which operates between Ridgedale and Minnetonka Heights. Comment period in April, and if approved the route would be cut in August. There's probably more recent ridership data, but I believe in 2015 the ridership on this route was around 60 per day. Could extending it south to Southwest Station and EP Center boost ridership? Would SW Transit have to approve that?

Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby Tcmetro » February 9th, 2019, 8:04 pm

The elimination of the 614 is going to be discussed on Monday's transportation committee meeting.

https://metrocouncil.org/getdoc/9d8ac3f ... genda.aspx

The ridership data show a lowly 2-4 riders per service hour, so it likely makes more sense as a dial-a-ride offering.

I think extending to Southwest station could increase ridership, but I can't imagine it would have a significant impact. Most of the route currently operates through wealthy single-family home suburbia, with the exceptions being Ridgedale, two minor retail areas, and a subsidized housing development.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby cinnamon toast » February 10th, 2019, 2:27 am

Speaking of low ridership routes. Does anybody know why the 542 is still around? I've always wondered because it always seemed like a duplicate to the 540 considering the both end up at the same place. I don't really know the ridership of the 540 but I assume it's a fairly well used route considering it's all day, 7 days a week coverage. I've also wondered why mini buses are used instead of MT's regular 40' buses.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby DanPatchToget » February 10th, 2019, 1:21 pm

The 542 is primarily for serving the American Blvd. Corridor while the 540 is for 76th/77th Street. For whatever reason the 542 used to be (around 5 years ago) operated with regular buses, but as far as I know minibuses have always been used on the 540. At least they stopped using the Ford paratransit buses on that route.

And why they're considering ABRT on American Blvd. instead of 76th/77th where the riders actually are is beyond me.

mattaudio
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby mattaudio » February 11th, 2019, 1:06 pm

Re: 614... Why does it not continue to downtown Excelsior? Does downtown Excelsior have all-day regular-route transit? Seems worthy of that.

Re: 542/540... I'm curious if there's a way to eventually plan on Freeway BRT along this corridor, with strong walk-friendly connections north and south across the freeway. Then one route could serve the American Blvd AND 76th/77th corridors, so there would be better ridership to justify better service offerings and more frequencies.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby alexschief » February 11th, 2019, 4:42 pm

Official ridership numbers are up. They more or less continue the trend of the last couple years. The region's investments in high-capacity, high-frequency, congestion-light service are paying off with consistent, year-over-year ridership gains. However, local bus ridership is falling which is being mostly blamed on cheap gas, VC subsidized ridesharing, and uniquely in MSP this year, a recent fare hike.

I think Metro Transit is more or less on top of this. As discussed a page ago, the agency is increasing frequency and increasing stop spacing on a widening number of routes, which is a smart, low-cost, low-time way to improve service.

I also think the Met Council and Metro Transit can probably expect jumps in ridership with a number of big investments coming online in the next couple years that will provide the kind of quality service that is still gaining riders. Obviously, the agency is ramping up aBRT projects, although (as I've written a lot) I would like to see them revise the corridor approach from the 2012 study into a network approach that will position aBRT service as the metro's flagship. The Orange Line looks like the region's best hBRT project to me. The Green Line Extension should create some entirely new transit markets.

But while the agencies are doing pretty good work in identifying investments, some of the biggest potential ridership gains are out of their hands. Minneapolis has also made an explicit goal of reducing VMT, which will necessarily involve transit to achieve. They're also about to allow much more of the city to become more transit-friendly density, and are clearly mulling whether to allocate more road space for buses, which would be huge. Hopefully we'll see similar interest from St. Paul, although it'll naturally happen three to five years after Minneapolis. Fixing the awful issues at Snelling and at 280 where the Green Line hits stoplights would be a great step for St. Paul, Ramsey County, and PennDOT to show some positive intentions toward transit.

On a more granular level, I'm interested in the "Who Rides" infographic produced by Metro Transit. There's a lot here that you probably would've guessed, but a couple things stand out to me as areas where there could be a ton of improvement.

(1) Just 4% of riders are retired. As that part of the population continues to grow, Metro Transit needs to be figuring out what is keeping older people from riding, whether it's the type of routes, the type of frequencies, feelings of safety, societal prejudices, etc. There are several senior living developments currently along the LRT, and one big one under construction, so there's a lot to be learned there.

(2) Just 11.8% of rides are for shopping, appointments. This looks like a huge mismatch to me, and a real area for growth for Metro Transit, because these trips make up a greater percentage of the average person's trips than the agency serves. These types of trips are theoretically good for transit but people aren't riding. One good trend on this front are an increasing number of urban grocery stores in MSP, including a couple that have opened recently or will open just steps from light rail (TJ's in the Mill District, Fresh Thyme in Prospect Park, the Cub in Hiawatha) and a few that are being built or opening this year on busy bus lines (Aldi on Lyndale and Good Grocer on Nicollet). Someday service in the Midtown Corridor will open up a ton of new possibilities for trips in this bucket, and the Social and Recreational bucket, which currently makes up 19.4% of trips.


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