Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

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DanPatchToget
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby DanPatchToget » October 9th, 2020, 8:32 pm

I mean, they already threw logic out the window with Bloomington Central Station being on the eastern fringe of the city. It's not central geographically and it's not a major light rail station, but I guess that's marketing for you.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Silophant » October 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm

I'm sorry, full-scale LRT TVMs are now up to $115,000 apiece? How can they possibly cost that much?

Tcmetro
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » October 9th, 2020, 8:52 pm

TVMs have an insane cost. I believe that Cubic basically has a monopoly on the industry.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » November 21st, 2020, 8:45 am

The connecting bus study is being revisited, after being postponed earlier this year. Meetings and public hearings likely to be scheduled in February (up for approval at Monday's Transportation Committee meeting).

The scope of the bus study has been significantly reduced. It is more specific to developing alternatives for 535 branch riders instead of being a wider restructure. I'd imagine a lot of the restructuring ideas will instead be developed in the Network Next plan. The routes being studied in the Orange Line connecting bus plan are the 7, 27, 515, 535, 537, 538, 539, 540, 542, 553, 558, and 597.

Here is the presentation going before the Transportation Committee on Monday.
https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetin ... ation.aspx

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Bakken2016 » November 23rd, 2020, 6:19 pm

The connecting bus study is being revisited, after being postponed earlier this year. Meetings and public hearings likely to be scheduled in February (up for approval at Monday's Transportation Committee meeting).

The scope of the bus study has been significantly reduced. It is more specific to developing alternatives for 535 branch riders instead of being a wider restructure. I'd imagine a lot of the restructuring ideas will instead be developed in the Network Next plan. The routes being studied in the Orange Line connecting bus plan are the 7, 27, 515, 535, 537, 538, 539, 540, 542, 553, 558, and 597.

Here is the presentation going before the Transportation Committee on Monday.
https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetin ... ation.aspx
Nixing the 46 right now is a big mistake, they need to increase the frequency to connect to the only other station in Minneapolis. 15-20 min frequency is a must! And why is the 7 even being considered, it wasn't in the original scope?????

Tcmetro
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » November 23rd, 2020, 6:28 pm

The 7 inclusion is headscratching to me as well. I think they could be considering a restructuring with the 515. I guess we'll see in a couple months.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Mdcastle » November 23rd, 2020, 10:27 pm

So the 535 stops literally two houses down from me, while the nearest Orange Line station is more than a mile away, a lot farther than you'd want to think about walking twice a day. As you all know I don't ride the bus and I don't go downtown, but for those in the neighborhood that do I'd imagine it would be hard to see the Orange Line as any kind of improvement.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby DanPatchToget » November 23rd, 2020, 11:10 pm

So the 535 stops literally two houses down from me, while the nearest Orange Line station is more than a mile away, a lot farther than you'd want to think about walking twice a day. As you all know I don't ride the bus and I don't go downtown, but for those in the neighborhood that do I'd imagine it would be hard to see the Orange Line as any kind of improvement.
There's some tradeoffs. The Orange Line will be farther away, but have more frequent service and it'll be all day.

Judging whether the Orange Line will be an improvement or not also depends on which branch of the 535 you use. In my case I used the D branch from Normandale College, which is much closer to my house than South Bloomington Transit Center. However, I'm willing to accept having to take a local service to South Bloomington and transferring to the Orange Line as long as the local service is frequent and there are timed connections with the Orange Line.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » November 24th, 2020, 11:21 am

I've used the 535 bus off and on from it's origin in the Central-South restructure in 2004 to 2014. I've used it from downtown, and later from South Bloomington when I lived in the south suburbs and attended Normandale. The 535 was born as a "pre-BRT" with 15 min frequencies from downtown to 76th, and 30 min frequencies to 98th. In the early years it wasn't very successful because it required transfers to get anywhere off the corridor. The 15 min service to 76th must have got very little midday use because it was cut pretty quickly. Some of the connecting buses were cut in service levels over time, notably the 542 midday service.

Over time the 535 has evolved to have more local service. The big changes were the addition of the Lyndale branch (to cover the old 576 which was eliminated when 46th St Station opened) and the Normandale branch, which has proved to be a major ridership generator. Other changes include the all day service to Lyndale and 94th, which happened when VEAP moved locations.

The addition of the Burnsville connection will be nice, but the 465 between Bloomington and Burnsville doesn't generate a lot of traffic (instead a lot of U students use it from Bloomington because it's a one-seat ride). Most of the Burnsville market is direct to downtown or the U, so it will be interesting to see if suburb-to-suburb ridership materializes. I can see MVTA keeping the 465 as an all-day Burnsville to Downtown and U of M route, so the Orange Line might not get a lot of that ridership.

Orange Line is really going to have to get connections done right to work. Normandale operates on a half hourly class schedule. Need a direct timed bus from Normandale to American Blvd and/or 98th St. The 539 is too circular and fills up the tiny buses with local riders Also going to have a challenge keeping riders from the 76th/Lyndale office park and the 94th/James industrial park.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby DanPatchToget » November 24th, 2020, 4:19 pm

My suggestions for improved local service in Bloomington to make the Orange Line have a better chance to succeed:
-extend the 4L south from 82nd Street to South Bloomington Transit Center via Lyndale
-extend the 4P south from 82nd Street to Normandale College via Penn, the 94th/James industrial area, and 98th Street
-increase frequency on the 539 to every 20 minutes all day on weekdays with timed transfers to/from the Orange Line at South Bloomington
-add a local route operating every 20 minutes between Normandale Village, Normandale College, and South Bloomington via 98th Street with timed transfers to/from the Orange Line at South Bloomington
-add a local route that covers the same routing as the 539 between Mall of America and Valley West, but continues west on Old Shakopee through West Bloomington and preferably all the way to Eden Prairie Center and SouthWest Station, probably operating every 30-60 minutes on weekdays

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby billhelm » December 14th, 2020, 10:47 am

I used the 535 to connect to the 46 often when I worked downtown, but the connection times were always hit or miss. I huffed it more than once to my house from the 46th St Station rather than wait 30 mins for another bus. And the 535 routinely ran late out of downtown which didn't help. It was faster for me to take limited stop busses that circled my neighborhood. But was convenient sometimes if the times worked.

Also notable that a significant portion of riders from this station appeared to live within a few blocks or were hide and riders (pretty ample space on the frontages to stash your vehicle), as I rarely saw transfers to my busses.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Bakken2016 » January 22nd, 2021, 1:09 pm

Orange Line Connecting Bus Study Concepts

https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetin ... -Line.aspx

Lots of Simplifying Routes and adding new routes to take over old 535 local service.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » January 22nd, 2021, 1:25 pm

Overall this looks really good. I like the simplification of the bus network in Bloomington, and hopefully they increase the frequency and hours of the service on the local lines.

Interesting things in there:

7 - All trips to 66th/Richfield Pkwy replacing the 515 branch to the VA Hospital.
27 - Rerouted near the Lake St/35W station.
515 - Simplified for all trips to run between Southdale and MOA via Bloomington and 77th. 15-minute service restored in Scenario B.
534 - New Lyndale route between American/Knox and 35W/98th. To James St industrial park during peak hours. Every 20 min peak, 30 min off peak. Weekend service added in Scenario B.
536 - New Penn route between American/Knox and Normandale CC via Penn, Old Shakopee Rd, France.
537 - Restored in Scenario B.
538 - Improve frequency in Scenario B.
539 - Operates between MOA and 98th/Normandale via 98th St.
540 - Simplified for all trips to operate between MOA and Normandale Lakes office park via the Edina industrial park. Improved frequency in Scenario B.
542 - Simplified to only operate on American Blvd and extended to Hwy 169/494 area. Improved frequency and weekend service added in Scenario B.
547 - Replaces Old Shakopee Rd branch of Rt. 597 to the SW Bloomington industrial park and residential areas. Peak only. Improved frequency in Scenario B.
548 - New route along 102nd St from Normandale Blvd to 98th St/35W. Peak only.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby DanPatchToget » January 22nd, 2021, 1:38 pm

No mention of SouthWest Transit planning to operate a hybrid of their Prime service along the 494 Corridor, but we'll see how that goes since they've been known to quickly reduce or drop local routes like they're experiments. Pretty sad Route 542 doesn't go into SouthWest's turf since that would make a lot more sense than ending at a gigantic highway interchange.

Would be nice if they just extended Route 4 down Lyndale and Penn instead of two very short local routes like Route 537 that will probably have less ridership due to the transfer penalty.

Overall I'm not sure this is simplifying the route network in Bloomington. It seems to be simplifying some routes (streamlining the 540 and 542) while complicating others (replacing the 535 and 597 branches with short local routes).

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » January 22nd, 2021, 1:49 pm

That's the big downside of the Orange Line. The 535 is a hybrid local/limited line while the new service will force transfers.

Edit:
Thinking about your note on the 542, Dan. It's a little strange how a connection to Green Line isn't penciled in as a possibility. Perhaps it will be addressed in the full plan which should be out on Monday.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby DanPatchToget » January 22nd, 2021, 2:14 pm

That's the big downside of the Orange Line. The 535 is a hybrid local/limited line while the new service will force transfers.

Edit:
Thinking about your note on the 542, Dan. It's a little strange how a connection to Green Line isn't penciled in as a possibility. Perhaps it will be addressed in the full plan which should be out on Monday.
I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think they will consider extending the 542 to the Green Line in Eden Prairie simply because that's SouthWest Transit's territory. Heaven forbid a Metro Transit or Met Council-contracted bus goes into a suburban opt-out's turf. :roll:

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » January 22nd, 2021, 2:18 pm

A real possibility especially given that SW Transit seems to have the most contentious relationship with the Met Council.

About 20 years ago there was a jointly operated Rt 590 that was functionally a hybrid 540/542 from MOA to SW Station. It didn't last too long and was renumbered to 540 and curtailed near E Bush Lake Rd. In 2004 it was reorganized with some other local routes into the current 540 and 542 routes.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby blo442 » January 22nd, 2021, 7:03 pm

Small but interesting point in this plan is how the "underpass to nowhere" on 77th St under Cedar will allow for routes 515 and 540 to be simplified and straightened quite nicely. (might shorten some deadhead trips out of South Garage too?) With the D Line increasing service on the east part of American Blvd it will be nice to shift some service to that corner of Richfield as well.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Hero » February 14th, 2021, 9:20 pm

After watching the public hearing I remember wondering why more wasn't done in Minneapolis? They extended route 27 from 4th Ave to 1st Ave and marginally changed route 7 but cut route 515 from going to the VA. And for all the talk about serving poor and minority communities I think they could have increased that number significantly by adding a stop on 38th St. and beefing up route 23 or at least increased the frequency of route 46 so riders could connect more easily from routes 4, 5 and 14.

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Re: Orange Line / 35W@94: Downtown to Crosstown Project

Postby Tcmetro » February 15th, 2021, 8:42 am

My guess is that Metro Transit is going to lean into the Network Next project to do a deeper review of bus service and how it connects to the "METRO" network. The Orange Line review is primarily focused on replacing the 535 and 597 routes with the Orange Line.

Metro Transit hasn't yet explained how the 7/515 service change will work but have signified that it is at least partially dependent on the 77th St underpass project being completed. Removing the 515 from the VA makes those trips a lot more difficult, basically requiring an extra 30-45 minutes for that journey. The VA trips started in the pre-MOA days, when many of the old route 15 trips made their way into South Minneapolis.

When the 46th St station opened (I believe in 2009 or 2010), Metro Transit initially proposed increased service on the 46. Instead, the 46 and 146 routes were kept the same to preserve the one-seat ride from W 50th St to downtown. Given that the 146 (and many others) are suspended, it will be interesting how the Network Next project changes the express routes.


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