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

Posted: October 9th, 2020, 8:32 pm
by DanPatchToget
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.

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

Posted: October 9th, 2020, 8:44 pm
by Silophant
I'm sorry, full-scale LRT TVMs are now up to $115,000 apiece? How can they possibly cost that much?

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

Posted: October 9th, 2020, 8:52 pm
by Tcmetro
TVMs have an insane cost. I believe that Cubic basically has a monopoly on the industry.

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

Posted: November 21st, 2020, 8:45 am
by Tcmetro
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

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

Posted: November 23rd, 2020, 6:19 pm
by Bakken2016
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?????

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

Posted: November 23rd, 2020, 6:28 pm
by Tcmetro
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.

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

Posted: November 23rd, 2020, 10:27 pm
by Mdcastle
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.

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

Posted: November 23rd, 2020, 11:10 pm
by DanPatchToget
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.

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

Posted: November 24th, 2020, 11:21 am
by Tcmetro
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.

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

Posted: November 24th, 2020, 4:19 pm
by DanPatchToget
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