Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

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alexschief
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby alexschief » July 9th, 2020, 7:58 pm

My impression from one of the early TAP public meetings was that several of the Transit 2.2 bus lanes were early action, and that all of them would be implemented in the next twelve months.

That's:
4th Avenue South between Washington Avenue and 10th Street South
5th Avenue South between Washington Avenue and 10th Street South
6th Street North/South between 1st Avenue North and 13th Avenue South
7th Street North/South between 1st Avenue North and 13th Ave South
8th Street North/South downtown between 1st Avenue North and 13th Ave South.
4th Street from the freeway connections on the west to Marquette and 2nd Avenues.
Obviously things have changed quite a bit by the month, but of all the possible universe of transit projects, bus lanes are probably the cheapest for the most impact. Now is a great time to do them as well, while traffic is light.

Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » July 10th, 2020, 10:51 am

I've not seen this before, an internship to clean bus stations and do landscaping work. Looks like they are targeting high schoolers that have cars, as the work site doesn't have a bus line.

https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/transitf ... 072020.pdf

Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » August 21st, 2020, 10:03 am

New bus schedules start Sept 12

https://www.metrotransit.org/service-ad ... ay-sept-12


Highlights:

Many urban lines improved to have better weekday and peak schedules.

10 min Blue and Green line frequencies.

Most suburban lines still suspended.

Some route 7 trips to Ft Snelling rerouted to Cedar Point/66th St.

Some route 68 trips extended to Rice/CR B.

Minor service reductions on routes 7, 9, and 75.

Route 62 reduced to 30 mins on weekdays and Saturdays.

Route 70 reduced to 60 mins middays.

Route 515 reduced to 20 mins weekdays and Saturdays.

Route 535 increased to 15 min peak and 30 min midday.

Route 540 reduced to 90 min on weekends.

Route 645 improved to 30 min peak and weekday service extended to Mound.

Owl service not restored. Most routes operating 5 am to 1 am. Light rail still ending at 11 pm.

blo442
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby blo442 » August 21st, 2020, 10:27 am

Not really mentioned in that article but Route 63 stop consolidation is happening with the September service change as well.

twincitizen
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby twincitizen » September 7th, 2020, 4:10 pm

Route 7 extension to Cedar Point Commons is smart. If every trip did that (instead of just the one branch extension), they could probably drop the less frequent 515 branch that goes to the VA instead of ending at MOA like the rest. Service between the VA and Richfield would be maintained via NB Blue to 7 (at 46th) or SB Blue to 515 (at MOA). Transfer required, but way more frequent service than the current hourly 515 branch. That VA branch of the 515 doesn’t really “fit” that route super well anyways. While it gets used, I think it harms the “legibility” of the system

alexschief
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby alexschief » September 10th, 2020, 8:25 am

This is sort of intriguing: https://finance-commerce.com/2020/09/da ... h-transit/

The first bit is about Dakota County's interest in transit, which of course they recently demonstrated by causing the CTIB to collapse. That aside, Dakota County actually does have a bunch of scattered high activity nodes that are not served by buses, and the article mentions a bunch of them. The Orange Line BRT and a future Rice/Robert aBRT route would help, but not be sufficient. The most useful bit of information comes at the bottom of the section, where they note that the County has actually hired Christof Spieler to study the issue. He's a smart guy and that's a refreshingly good hire, I think.

The second bit is about Rochester, who are advancing a curious transit plan through what looks like the FTA's Small Starts program. Rochester wants to establish a couple of "transit hubs" outside downtown, and then run high quality transit service between downtown and those hubs. The first project would run along 2nd Street, from downtown out to a parking lot right south of Cascade Lake. That's the route that is currently being planned. The second would (I can only assume) run down Broadway to Graham Park. I'm not sure they've started that one yet.

A bit like the discussion we've been having on the aBRT forum, I don't see why either of these routes should end downtown. Send the 2nd Street route out the other end of downtown to the Faud Mansour complex, and send the Broadway route up to the Rochester Recreation Center. Otherwise Rochester is just building really glorified park and ride shuttles.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby DanPatchToget » September 10th, 2020, 11:11 am

The article mentions no "direct transit services" to Inver Hills Community College and Dakota County Technical College, but Metro Transit serves the former and MVTA served the latter pre-COVID.

QuietBlue
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby QuietBlue » September 10th, 2020, 11:57 am

The first bit is about Dakota County's interest in transit, which of course they recently demonstrated by causing the CTIB to collapse.
Yeah, because we were getting a lousy deal.

Dakota contributed 13 percent of the funding and only got 7 percent of the spending. Sure, I get that the money doesn't get the same return on investment in the suburbs. But if the CTIB didn't want to fund suburban projects, they shouldn't have expected them to contribute.

Taking a regional approach to transit planning -- and funding -- makes sense, but that can't mean everyone contributes funding while only the core gets the investment.

Scott Wood
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Scott Wood » September 12th, 2020, 3:10 pm

The first bit is about Dakota County's interest in transit, which of course they recently demonstrated by causing the CTIB to collapse.
Yeah, because we were getting a lousy deal.

Dakota contributed 13 percent of the funding and only got 7 percent of the spending. Sure, I get that the money doesn't get the same return on investment in the suburbs. But if the CTIB didn't want to fund suburban projects, they shouldn't have expected them to contribute.

Taking a regional approach to transit planning -- and funding -- makes sense, but that can't mean everyone contributes funding while only the core gets the investment.
That's not that big of an imbalance, considering that people in Dakota County benefit from core city transit by having transfer options when they arrive (either by taking the transit that does exist (especially the Red Line which is specifically designed as a transfer route), or by driving to a park and ride outside Dakota County). And sometimes the inequities run the other way (e.g. Saint Paul paying to rehabilitate Ayd Mill Road which sees significant use by Dakota County commuters, or major shopping centers located in the suburbs that draw urban shoppers and their sales taxes)... A more compelling reason to end CTIB was the ability to raise the transit tax without an act of the Legislature, though it seems Dakota wasn't interested in that.

What is Dakota County doing with that money now?

Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Silophant » September 14th, 2020, 8:31 am

The new NexTrip system went online last week.

QuietBlue
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby QuietBlue » September 15th, 2020, 7:36 am

That's not that big of an imbalance, considering that people in Dakota County benefit from core city transit by having transfer options when they arrive (either by taking the transit that does exist (especially the Red Line which is specifically designed as a transfer route), or by driving to a park and ride outside Dakota County). And sometimes the inequities run the other way (e.g. Saint Paul paying to rehabilitate Ayd Mill Road which sees significant use by Dakota County commuters, or major shopping centers located in the suburbs that draw urban shoppers and their sales taxes)... A more compelling reason to end CTIB was the ability to raise the transit tax without an act of the Legislature, though it seems Dakota wasn't interested in that.
While it's certainly true that people from Dakota County use core city transit, they're far from the only ones (lots of people from other counties do too), so that doesn't go very far to address the imbalance.

Moreover, when they go to the core, they're usually spending money (entertainment, getting a meal on their lunch break, etc), so there's an opportunity to recoup funding there via the sales tax.

As for Ayd Mill, it's St. Paul's road, so they should be the ones to decide what to do with it as long as they're on the hook for it financially.

Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Silophant » September 16th, 2020, 10:37 am

As part of their COVID recovery proposal, Xcel Energy has pitched funding $100M worth of rebates for the purchase of battery electric transit buses and school buses in Minnesota. $65M of that would be specifically earmarked for Metro Transit. This would need to be approved by the PUC, but they specifically asked for stuff like this, so presumably they'll go for it. Additionally, they're proposing to expand the fleet electrification program to help pay for charging infrastructure.

Doesn't look like the PUC site allows you to link directly to documents, but if you go here and search for Document ID 20209-166607-03, it should come up. Bus stuff starts on page 40.

Tcmetro
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Tcmetro » September 16th, 2020, 1:51 pm

Wow, that's pretty good news.

Metro Transit is due for a new bus contract, and with the issues worked out with the C Line buses, hopefully they feel ready to continue with electrification.

Will be interesting to see how COVID effects shake out, currently they're operating 80% service with probably an even smaller percentage of buses operating, which could delay the need for a bus purchase.

Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Silophant » September 16th, 2020, 3:50 pm

The proposal is for up to $1M in rebate per transit bus, with some language about working with the agencies to help pay upfront costs "given the potential for limited resources as the economy gradually recovers". So it sounds like Xcel is pretty much offering to buy the buses for Metro Transit, unless they're more than a million dollars each (which, the 60' artics at least probably are). Hopefully MT can at least retire some of the oldest buses and replace them with electrics, even if they don't need to do a full purchasing round right now.

alexschief
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby alexschief » September 17th, 2020, 7:07 am

Or possibly Metro Transit can insert Xcel money into the B and D Line budgets, and shift other money out of bus procurement and into other items, closing the funding gap?

Silophant
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Re: Public Transit News / Current Events (MN only)

Postby Silophant » September 18th, 2020, 9:00 am

Maybe! I wonder how the "buses" line-item of the D Line budget compares to the remaining funding gap.


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