A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
mulad
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A Line - Arterial Rapid Bus

Postby mulad » June 5th, 2013, 1:27 pm

I suppose it's time to create a thread specifically for the Snelling route from Metro Transit's Arterial Transit Corridor Study. Some public meetings are coming up in July. The Pioneer Press had an article on the route, which Yonah Freemark mocked for including the quote "light rail on wheels" to describe bus rapid transit:

http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_ ... -fill-10-2

Metro Transit is looking at a $25 million ($24.8 million?) budget for the project, and has managed to find about $14.6 million so far from Met Council funds, CMAQ grants, and even some Mn/DOT highway bonding (it's a road project, isn't it?). They're still seeking another $10.2 million.

There will be open houses next month:
Metro Transit wrote: Tuesday, July 9, 2013
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Hamline University, Klas Center, Kay Fredericks Room
1536 Hewitt Avenue, St. Paul

Monday, July 15, 2013
5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Hillcrest Recreational Center, Gymnasium
1978 Ford Parkway, St. Paul

Wednesday, July 17, 2013
12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Macalester College, Weyerhaeuser Hall, Weyerhaeuser Board Room
62 Macalester Street, St. Paul
Quick review: Faster boarding/alighting through use of low-floor buses, stations with bulb-outs and/or raised platforms, and all-door boarding (either with Go-To readers at all doors and/or with ticket vending machines and a proof-of-payment system like LRT). Stations would have shelters with schedules and NexTrip signs/kiosks. The one defining feature of BRT that is missing is exclusive lanes, though the buses should have transit signal priority. I personally have to call this something else, but I won't whine too much if others call it BRT. I decided to put "enhanced bus" in the topic title -- this has been called "rapid bus" by some, but it's pretty much impossible to explain how "bus rapid transit" is different than "rapid bus".

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » June 5th, 2013, 8:23 pm

mulad wrote:Quick review: Faster boarding/alighting through use of low-floor buses, stations with bulb-outs and/or raised platforms, and all-door boarding (either with Go-To readers at all doors and/or with ticket vending machines and a proof-of-payment system like LRT). Stations would have shelters with schedules and NexTrip signs/kiosks. The one defining feature of BRT that is missing is exclusive lanes, though the buses should have transit signal priority.
What strikes me is each of these items could be implemented on all buses- Except signal priority.
There's no one taking a ticket on Hiawatha, why should bus drivers have to deal with this?

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby FISHMANPET » June 5th, 2013, 8:38 pm

There's a pretty high capital cost to all that, so it's certainly not worth it on all routes. Even routes that are busy but only in parts wouldn't really merit it. Thinking specifically of proof of payment, you'd have to implement it on the whole line, which means an awful lot of ticket vending machines. You can't really have all door boarding without proof of payment. Currently if someone tries to get on the bus and doesn't pay the bus driver at least knows and can do something about it.

Raised platforms would be nice at a lot of stops though, especially LRT transfer stops and other high use stops (U of M campus, a lot of downtown, etc etc), but wouldn't need to be on the whole route.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Tcmetro » June 5th, 2013, 8:43 pm

SF MUNI has a nice setup. If you have a valid flash pass or transfer or a Clipper card (readers at all doors), you can board in any door. If you are paying cash, front door.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » June 6th, 2013, 10:54 am

FISHMANPET wrote:There's a pretty high capital cost to all that, so it's certainly not worth it on all routes. Even routes that are busy but only in parts wouldn't really merit it. Thinking specifically of proof of payment, you'd have to implement it on the whole line, which means an awful lot of ticket vending machines. You can't really have all door boarding without proof of payment. Currently if someone tries to get on the bus and doesn't pay the bus driver at least knows and can do something about it.

Raised platforms would be nice at a lot of stops though, especially LRT transfer stops and other high use stops (U of M campus, a lot of downtown, etc etc), but wouldn't need to be on the whole route.
Sure- We should be implementing what we can in areas where it makes sense.
There's no reason we need the blanket of a moniker (Rapid Bus) or, I agree, rigid adherence to every stop being the same on a route to implement improvements.

I'd like to point out that LRV operator has about zero knowledge of whether one's paid or not- Why is this acceptable on a train, but not on a bus? It actually makes less sense- bus drivers have lots more to pay attention to than LRV operators.

And sure, a second reader would go a long way- We've discussed how people are reluctant to use the back door-
Tcmetro wrote:SF MUNI has a nice setup. If you have a valid flash pass or transfer or a Clipper card (readers at all doors), you can board in any door. If you are paying cash, front door.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby twincitizen » June 6th, 2013, 11:05 am

UptownSport wrote:There's no reason we need the blanket of a moniker (Rapid Bus) or, I agree, rigid adherence to every stop being the same on a route to implement improvements.
You're absolutely right. I can tell you first hand that there are people at Metro Transit that would mostly agree with that sentiment. But good luck getting funding for marginal improvements. Ever heard the expression that "[politicians want] Shovels, not brooms"

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby FISHMANPET » June 6th, 2013, 11:18 am

The driver doesn't care on a train because it's proof of payment, someone else is in charge of verifying fares.

You can't have proof of payment on parts of a line and not on others, it has to be all or nothing.

web

Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby web » June 6th, 2013, 8:11 pm

muni in sf has mixed

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby MSPtoMKE » June 6th, 2013, 8:42 pm

Yes, Muni allows you to either pay cash on board or board from the back with a pass or transfer, but it is implemented throughout the whole system. You are required to retain proof-of-payment to show fare inspectors. I think it might be the only major system like that in the country. It would be bad policy to have some standard bus routes be proof-of-payment, and others not without clear differentiation between them. The proposal here is to have Metro lines and Rapid Bus lines be POP, which is easy enough to understand. It would be possible for Metro Transit to go for full POP throughout the system like Muni, but the two systems are rather different. Muni is a fully urban system with lots of busy lines and lots of people getting on and off frequently, and POP speeds things up. The added cost of having fare inspectors has a higher cost/benefit ratio in a system like that. Metro Transit is really only congested like that at the core.
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » June 9th, 2013, 10:38 pm

We should go with proof of payment-
I recall somewhere in Germany being asked for my schein-
We need to focus on moving people, not overburdening driver.
How many times have I got checked on Hiawatha?
Only if passing Lake st.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby PhilmerPhil » June 9th, 2013, 10:59 pm

^^^First UrbanMSP post in the form of a poem.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby MNdible » June 10th, 2013, 8:32 am

UptownSport is channeling William Carlos Williams.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby UptownSport » June 10th, 2013, 8:50 am

No, Uptown went to bar to catch up on his last three days of e-mails- Chanelling worlds most interesting man, except the interesting and Dos Equis part.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Viktor Vaughn » June 10th, 2013, 10:24 am

PhilmerPhil wrote:^^^First UrbanMSP post in the form of a poem.
Um, no. I wrote a lenghty sonnet complaining about people who complain about those who have not accepted the southwest light rail routing.

viewtopic.php?p=19538#p19538

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby MNdible » June 10th, 2013, 10:33 am

Right you are, and a thing of beauty it was.

It may have lacked the visceral punch of UptownSport's work, though.

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Nick
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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Nick » June 10th, 2013, 4:35 pm

Image

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby Snelbian » June 13th, 2013, 10:00 am

As of last week, the proposed cost for the line is around $27 million and they're $10 million short on the funding. Bike storage in some form will be located at all stations, the 84 will not change in any way, and there will be no net loss of on-street parking. Neighborhood advisers were apparently very unhappy with proposed station designs, though I don' t have details beyond "they were hideous". Metro Transit is going back to the drawing board on that, from what I'm told.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mulad » June 13th, 2013, 11:21 am

I can't say I was a fan of the bus station designs presented at the meetings for the general ATCS study -- kind of strange triangular arrangements for the vertical panels.

I could make a long list of nitpicks about bus stops/stations -- There should be aspects of the structures that help in sun and rain, heat and cold, on windy days and those that are not so windy. I tend to think of a standard mostly-enclosed bus stop next to an overhang that roughly doubles the overall square footage but is mostly open on the sides rather than enclosed. The designs should also be passed through an architect who knows how to make good use of an ephemeris calculator -- it should be possible to make better use of a low-hanging winter sun to improve warmth while keeping summertime passengers shaded and relatively cool. That might require multiple different versions of the bus stops, though -- one for each cardinal direction on a route like this one. I suspect the stops should also be biased toward protecting people from a western or southwestern wind.

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby mattaudio » June 13th, 2013, 11:46 am

Couldn't we get neighborhoods and local business to adopt/enhance shelters? I'm working on a tactical urbanism project for my local bus stop. Why not set up some guidelines and let locals bring their bus stops above the baseline?

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Re: Snelling BRT/enhanced bus

Postby RailBaronYarr » June 13th, 2013, 4:14 pm

^ On one hand, it's nice to have a consistent look/feel/utility for all MT stations. They're visually identifiable which means novices can clearly see where they are and you can start denoting which stops have rapid service vs local, etc. You also have some sort of consistency in what's expected at a stop (heating/shade/NexTrip data/payment systems/bike racks/etc) so that people can rely on the entire system to have the things they expect.

On the flip side, I think it's kinda cool that underground stations in German cities and Stockholm have completely different looks and feels. Kinda public art. If local neighborhoods adopted these stations and made them their own with MT oversight on minimum utility that would be fun. There are some cool examples in the book Making Transit Fun.


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