Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
Oreos&Milk
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 156
Joined: February 11th, 2018, 11:51 am

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Oreos&Milk » October 17th, 2020, 6:44 pm

If the 94 route can be an express bus connecting the downtowns having a similar service from MOA to the downtowns seems worth looking into. Maybe even connecting them all into an O Line service with a round loop service going in both directions.

Even if red line rides didn’t have a one seat ride into downtown I think they would value a two seat ride with the option of going into either downtowns but perhaps service into downtown St. Paul is not as important as it used to or is projected to be in the 5-15 years future when such a line could be built. Just a thought.

Scott Wood
Metrodome
Posts: 67
Joined: June 25th, 2012, 11:26 pm

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Scott Wood » October 20th, 2020, 7:33 pm

If the 94 route can be an express bus connecting the downtowns having a similar service from MOA to the downtowns seems worth looking into. Maybe even connecting them all into an O Line service with a round loop service going in both directions.

Even if red line rides didn’t have a one seat ride into downtown I think they would value a two seat ride with the option of going into either downtowns but perhaps service into downtown St. Paul is not as important as it used to or is projected to be in the 5-15 years future when such a line could be built. Just a thought.
I'm not sure there's much value to forming a loop if the service only has three (clusters of) stops -- nobody's going to ride through one to the next instead of just going the opposite direction. It'd make more sense to have each express link be a continuation of another line -- Red Line for MOA to DT Minneapolis, Gold Line for DT St Paul to DT Minneapolis, and (if warranted) Purple Line for DT St Paul to MOA.

Bakken2016
Rice Park
Posts: 424
Joined: September 20th, 2017, 12:40 pm
Location: North Loop

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Bakken2016 » November 19th, 2020, 5:21 pm

https://www.hometownsource.com/sun_this ... a4341.html

MVTA is now considering suing the Met Council over this..... they always knew it was a contracted service and it could change at anytime. They are acting like children...

DanPatchToget
Foshay Tower
Posts: 809
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » November 19th, 2020, 6:05 pm

When the opt-outs pull stunts like this it makes me more supportive of consolidating all the transit operations in the region to Metro Transit.

jebr
Nicollet Mall
Posts: 173
Joined: April 9th, 2013, 1:04 am
Location: St. Paul (Hamline-Midway)

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby jebr » November 28th, 2020, 12:26 pm

When the opt-outs pull stunts like this it makes me more supportive of consolidating all the transit operations in the region to Metro Transit.
The problem is that Metro Transit isn't particularly great at serving the outer suburbs with local service. The turf wars are dumb, and most of the opt-outs do just as bad (or worse!) than Metro Transit in terms of local service, but MVTA seems to have their act together better than Metro Transit on suburban service. Woodbury currently has no local service at all, and White Bear Lake has one six-day-a-week route that only serves the very southern portion of that city. There's proposed transit investments to both of those cities, but MVTA had better service to their communities even before the Red Line started.

There's almost certainly budget constraints in play for Metro Transit, but I'm not sure that merging everything together would suddenly fix all of our problems. At minimum, it'd probably be worth finding a way to keep the knowledge of MVTA on-hand in such a merger in order to develop the suburban markets more. That'll be extra crucial with the upcoming Green Line extension, Gold Line, and Purple Line, all of which need good feeder bus service in the suburbs in order to be successful.

DanPatchToget
Foshay Tower
Posts: 809
Joined: March 30th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » November 28th, 2020, 5:59 pm

When the opt-outs pull stunts like this it makes me more supportive of consolidating all the transit operations in the region to Metro Transit.
The problem is that Metro Transit isn't particularly great at serving the outer suburbs with local service. The turf wars are dumb, and most of the opt-outs do just as bad (or worse!) than Metro Transit in terms of local service, but MVTA seems to have their act together better than Metro Transit on suburban service. Woodbury currently has no local service at all, and White Bear Lake has one six-day-a-week route that only serves the very southern portion of that city. There's proposed transit investments to both of those cities, but MVTA had better service to their communities even before the Red Line started.

There's almost certainly budget constraints in play for Metro Transit, but I'm not sure that merging everything together would suddenly fix all of our problems. At minimum, it'd probably be worth finding a way to keep the knowledge of MVTA on-hand in such a merger in order to develop the suburban markets more. That'll be extra crucial with the upcoming Green Line extension, Gold Line, and Purple Line, all of which need good feeder bus service in the suburbs in order to be successful.
Keep in mind suburban local service can have a very tough time getting ridership and keeping subsidy per rider at a reasonable level. It would be nice if the opt-outs were more transparent about their ridership and subsidy per rider performance so people can know if we're making the right investments in suburban local service. Before there was SouthWest Prime, SouthWest Transit tried a couple local circulator routes in Eden Prairie that failed miserably. If I remember right one of the routes had a subsidy per rider of $99.

While there's likely a lack of interest from Metro Transit and the opt-outs to improving suburban local transit, there's also the difficulty of making good investments, and they'd rather stick with their bread-and-butter routes; urban local for Metro Transit, and suburb-to-downtown express for Metro Transit and the opt-outs (though of course this has changed since the pandemic began).

Getting back more on topic, I've seen a few posts from MVTA's Facebook page with the slogan "Local Service. Local Choice." and touting their good performance operating the Red Line.

Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
Posts: 1444
Joined: May 31st, 2012, 8:02 pm
Location: Chicago (ex-Minneapolitan)

Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » November 28th, 2020, 6:30 pm

Ridership and cost/revenue statistics have been provided for route types at the agency level for some time now, typically bundled in Met Council annual reports. I believe route level data is now also available for the opt-outs in a regional report that is published annually as well.

The politics between the opt-outs and the Met Council can get annoying, but the impotus for the legislation to create the opt-outs was the poor service that the MTC was providing the suburbs in the 1980s. MVTA has the most robust local service offerings, while Southwest, Plymouth, and Maple Grove only have commuter focused routes. Each of those agencies (and now including MVTA) have decent dial-a-ride services that have been modernized to use apps to have much less significant lead times for reservations (e.g. 30-60 mins in advance v.s. the old model which required calling in the morning up to multiple days in advance). The regional dial-a-ride (Transit Link) was formed ~10 years ago now, but from what I understand it is stretched for resources and hasn't yet modernized to app-based reservations. In any case, Met Council taking over opt-outs will probably lead to cannibalization of what service those communities have.

As for the Red Line, Met Council is probably within their bounds of their contract to take over the Red Line. Their justifications aren't really that strong in my opinion. I doubt that Metro Transit can actually operate the service at a lower cost than MVTA/Schmitty & Sons. The claim that the new buses will be better integrated into the Metro Transit fleet also falls flat as the new buses are likely to be Gilligs, a model that both Metro Transit and MVTA predominantly operate. Metro Transit only has the staffing capacity now that they have instituted the Covid service cuts, but what happens once a vaccine comes? Do Red Line runs go unoperated or do other routes get unscheduled run cuts for the sake of a higher priority service?


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