I mean, I guess I thought it was clear I meant residential+jobs, a kind of rough metric of total destinations (since work commutes are a small % of total trips taken). But actually, the majority of non-CBD/U/Uptown/Midtown places in Minneapolis actually have fairly consistent and decently high job densities in the 500-2,000/square mile range, which really isn't that much lower than the population densities in those very same neighborhoods. https://imgur.com/o02zY22 vs https://gettingaroundmpls.files.wordpre ... 2/2007.jpg Chicken and egg conversation here, of course, but a more robust system of buses in those markets that doesn't force one or two transfers way out of your way would certainly make living and working within the city a lot easier, right? How many crummy little offices or retail establishments could go along any of those corridors as a result?This is broadly true on the residential side, but really not true on the jobs side. There are vast chunks of these areas with job densities so low as to be effectively nill. This is the reason that it's so tough to justify robust crosstown service. Every so often, somebody asks some variant of "Why is it so hard for me to take a bus from [somewhere in South Minneapolis] to [somewhere in St. Paul]?" And the answer is because there just aren't enough people who want to make that movement to justify frequent transit service.
Counterpoint: to get to the East Bank by the 2 from Nicollet & Franklin at 8 am is a 26 minute trip with 15 minute headways (that can likely be timed fairly accurately). Taking an 18 or 17 to the Green Line and waiting 5 minutes on average makes for a 25 minute total trip. The further east you go, the worse that calculus becomes if your destination is the U and you are trying to catch a transfer rather than a one-seat 2 ride (hypothetically, from Franklin Ave Station the 2 to Raymond Ave Station back to the U would take 31 minutes including a 5 minute wait for a transfer vs current 13 minutes). But imagine a scenario where the 9 and 14 didn't go downtown bu continued on a more northerly route. Between them, the Blue Line, the 5 and the 7 you could basically catch a 1 transfer trip to the East Bank with hardly any time penalty vs a single seat ride on the 2 today. And now you've just opened up a single seat ride from Franklin bus shed to the 67's shed, plus a single transfer trip to any N-S bus the new 2 crosses. Previously, that would have meant a 3 seat ride by going downtown, transferring to the GL, then to any N-S bus route.I don't see why there shouldn't be a route that connects lots of housing to a place where a lot of people work or go to school. The U is the second biggest transit node in the region, after Downtown Minneapolis (and busier than Downtown St Paul). Why wouldn't we have a route that easily connects people to that node?
I dunno. There's a lot of diminishing returns talk for some improvements that would only cut a minute or two off many bus riders' journeys. Why not take that view the other way - maybe 1-3 minutes saved or a single seat ride for some of these odd routes are worth the tradeoff in vastly expanding the single-transfer job accessibility, which is really important since most of these routes have 15 minute headways at best, carrying a larger transfer penalty (time and perceived).