Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

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Tcmetro
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » June 7th, 2021, 10:52 am

Metro Transit is running Gilligs on the Red Line since the handover of service.

The Nova LFS buses used by MVTA which were in service from the start of operations have been removed from service. The Red Line stations in 2013 were designed with level boarding and door cut outs for those buses.

Because the buses Metro Transit is using are not compatible with the stations, the Red Line buses have to stop along the curb somewhere before or after the actual platforms.

I haven't been in Minnesota since late December, but that's how the Red Line was operating then.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 7th, 2021, 12:21 pm

I believe Metro Transit is not using the level platform stops at any of the stations because they were designed with the old buses in mind. MVTA is not using the SB stops or the NB level platform stops at Apple Valley Station because of COVID.
When I was on the northbound side on Friday some MVTA buses were using the indoor station to pick up and drop off riders. I was on the 447 from Prior Lake and the driver dropped me off at Gate C, which is the southern-most indoor platform spot and doesn't have the level platform (you should be able to see here: https://www.google.com/maps/@44.7251961 ... 8192?hl=en). I also saw the 442 picking up a person at Gate A, which is an indoor and level-boarding platform. Besides cosmetics I'm pretty sure the MVTA buses and Metro Transit's Red Line buses are the same 40-foot Gillig.

Tcmetro
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Tcmetro » June 7th, 2021, 12:26 pm

MVTA must have modified the Gilligs to use the platform doors. I recall that the bus driver had something similar to a garage door opener to open the platform doors when the bus arrives.

gopherfan
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby gopherfan » June 7th, 2021, 2:18 pm

MVTA said Metro Transit couldn't use AVTS in their threat letter to the Met Council in November https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/mvta_res ... _12_20.pdf

Letter E "The Metropolitan Council Does Not Control MVTA Facilities"
"For this reason, MVTA respectfully denies the Metropolitan Council access and use of AVTS and other MVTA properties until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached for their use."

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 7th, 2021, 2:20 pm

MVTA must have modified the Gilligs to use the platform doors. I recall that the bus driver had something similar to a garage door opener to open the platform doors when the bus arrives.
None of the MVTA buses I saw had the station doors open. There’s even a sign at the station saying drivers don’t open the station door and you have to press a button next to the door to make it open.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 7th, 2021, 3:32 pm

MVTA said Metro Transit couldn't use AVTS in their threat letter to the Met Council in November https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/mvta_res ... _12_20.pdf

Letter E "The Metropolitan Council Does Not Control MVTA Facilities"
"For this reason, MVTA respectfully denies the Metropolitan Council access and use of AVTS and other MVTA properties until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached for their use."
Thank you for confirming with me that MVTA is indeed being a gatekeeper and seems to be run by children.

mattaudio
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby mattaudio » June 9th, 2021, 9:28 am

It would be a shame if people sent emails to all the officials on the bottom of that letter from MVTA's Dorsey flack with three points:
- The link to the original letter and that this is a response to the denial of facility use.
- Links to tweets showing this is a transit barrier that has literally left people behind.
- A call to disband MVTA entirely.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 9th, 2021, 9:57 am

It would be a shame if people sent emails to all the officials on the bottom of that letter from MVTA's Dorsey flack with three points:
- The link to the original letter and that this is a response to the denial of facility use.
- Links to tweets showing this is a transit barrier that has literally left people behind.
- A call to disband MVTA entirely.
I emailed MVTA's general email and directed it at the MVTA Board. I assume they have at least something to do with blocking Metro Transit from their facilities, and I made it known that their tactics are immature, wasteful, and just bad policy. I also made it clear that unless they and the rest of the opt-outs clean up their act and start working with Metro Transit and the Met Council then I sincerely hope they get absorbed by Metro Transit so we have a unified transit system.

When I complained about this issue on Metro Transit's Facebook page they responded saying it had to do with the curbs. I replied back with that letter plus the fact that the curbs along part of AVTS are lower to allow regular buses to use. They didn't respond again. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

twincitizen
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby twincitizen » June 9th, 2021, 2:56 pm

MVTA said Metro Transit couldn't use AVTS in their threat letter to the Met Council in November https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/mvta_res ... _12_20.pdf

Letter E "The Metropolitan Council Does Not Control MVTA Facilities"
"For this reason, MVTA respectfully denies the Metropolitan Council access and use of AVTS and other MVTA properties until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached for their use."
Highly recommend Page 5, where MVTA's lawyer makes a compelling argument that the Red Line is not BRT, and is in fact local bus.
Even if the BRT-local service distinction had statutory significance, the Red Line is a
quintessential local service. It runs entirely in MVTA communities until its termination at the Mall
of America. The FTA does not consider the Red Line to be BRT. And the Red Line does not
meet the criteria for BRT established by the Metropolitan Council itself. The Transportation
Policy Plan provides guidelines for different bus service classifications, including stop spacing,
frequency of service, and productivity. See Transportation Policy Plan, October 2018 Update,
Appendix G at G-10 to G-15. Under these guidelines the Red Line does not qualify as any of
the three BRT classifications (Arterial, Highway, Dedicated), but rather qualifies as Suburban
Local Bus.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 9th, 2021, 3:18 pm

MVTA said Metro Transit couldn't use AVTS in their threat letter to the Met Council in November https://www.mvta.com/cms-files/mvta_res ... _12_20.pdf

Letter E "The Metropolitan Council Does Not Control MVTA Facilities"
"For this reason, MVTA respectfully denies the Metropolitan Council access and use of AVTS and other MVTA properties until such time as a mutually acceptable agreement can be reached for their use."
Highly recommend Page 5, where MVTA's lawyer makes a compelling argument that the Red Line is not BRT, and is in fact local bus.
Even if the BRT-local service distinction had statutory significance, the Red Line is a
quintessential local service. It runs entirely in MVTA communities until its termination at the Mall
of America. The FTA does not consider the Red Line to be BRT. And the Red Line does not
meet the criteria for BRT established by the Metropolitan Council itself. The Transportation
Policy Plan provides guidelines for different bus service classifications, including stop spacing,
frequency of service, and productivity. See Transportation Policy Plan, October 2018 Update,
Appendix G at G-10 to G-15. Under these guidelines the Red Line does not qualify as any of
the three BRT classifications (Arterial, Highway, Dedicated), but rather qualifies as Suburban
Local Bus.
Seems like another good reason to extend the Red Line north to downtown with stops at I-35W & 46th and I-35W & Lake Street, increase frequency to every 15 minutes, and implement off-board fare payment. That way it's not only a Highway BRT service, but also goes through much more of Metro Transit's turf.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 17th, 2021, 7:59 am

Here's the response I got from the MVTA:

"Thanks for sharing your concerns about Red Line operations.

Minnesota Valley Transit Authority agrees with you that public transit agencies should work in a complementary and collaborative manner to make our regional transit system the best and most efficient it can be.

As you may know, MVTA has provided service from Apple Valley to the Mall of America since before the Red Line began.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Council, MVTA developed the procedures for the Red Line and operated the service along Cedar Avenue/Highway 77 since the service began in 2013. On average -- before the pandemic -- the Red Line provided 250,000 trips per year. MVTA has received customer satisfaction ratings as high as 95 percent and no service issues of concern had been identified in association with the Red Line.

MVTA, the MVTA Board and Suburban Transit Providers have been working hard to collaborate on regional transit issues with the Met Council.

On Sept. 4, 2020, Metropolitan Council staff issued a 90-day termination notice to MVTA regarding the Red Line. The termination notice was sent to MVTA without a vote of the Metropolitan Council Board.

MVTA is the statutory public transportation provider for Apple Valley, Eagan and five other cities in Dakota and Scott counties.

The city councils of Apple Valley and Eagan formally requested the Met Council reconsider the decision and asked for opportunity to discuss further.

Despite the limited communication, on short notice MVTA initiated a service plan to allow the Met Council to use Apple Valley Transit Station. The Met Council ultimately chose their own stop location next to Apple Valley Transit Station.

MVTA has contracted with Schmitty and Sons (based out of Lakeville and Burnsville) to provide maintenance and operators on the buses and route. All stations on the Red Line, except its northern terminus at Mall of America Station, are in MVTA’s service territory, and MVTA owns and operates Apple Valley Transit Station, which supplies the vast majority of Red Line riders.

As a result of the termination agreement, MVTA furloughed operators that had been serving the Red Line since 2013.

As you noted, MVTA did reinstate Route 442 service to the Mall of America with a route adjustment to provide an improved stop location at the Twin Cities Premium Outlets Mall, which is key destination in our service area.

One recent example of the Suburban Transit Association’s efforts on behalf of regional cooperation is our efforts to ensure the pandemic-relief funding was provided to all regional providers instead of being directed to large, legacy providers in cities around the country.

MVTA and Suburban Transit Providers are proud of our history of innovation and relationships we’ve worked hard to build with customers and elected officials in our service area. We believe it’s critical that regional transit providers work collaboratively, efficiently and effectively to best serve public transit riders.

MVTA and Suburban Transit Providers are committed to pursuing collaborative working relationships with regional transit providers moving forward.

Please give me a call if you would like to discuss further.

Thank you."

So MVTA is claiming they were allowing the Met Council (I assume this also means Metro Transit) to use Apple Valley Transit Station, but the Met Council chose to have the Red Line stops away from the station. Hmmm.... seems like they're completely lying or there's more to the story that they're not saying since this contradicts that letter stating the MVTA was going to bar Metro Transit from using Apple Valley Transit Station.

BoredAgain
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby BoredAgain » June 17th, 2021, 11:07 pm

"Despite the limited communication, on short notice MVTA initiated a service plan to allow the Met Council to use Apple Valley Transit Station. The Met Council ultimately chose their own stop location next to Apple Valley Transit Station."

So MVTA is claiming they were allowing the Met Council (I assume this also means Metro Transit) to use Apple Valley Transit Station, but the Met Council chose to have the Red Line stops away from the station. Hmmm.... seems like they're completely lying or there's more to the story that they're not saying since this contradicts that letter stating the MVTA was going to bar Metro Transit from using Apple Valley Transit Station.
To me this sounds like MVTA offered to let Met Council operated buses use AVTS in exchange for "something" as part of the service plan. Met Council didn't like the offer and chose to use the alternate stop.

Presumably, that "something" was money, but it could have been more complicated.

DanPatchToget
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby DanPatchToget » June 17th, 2021, 11:32 pm

If that is the case then how was AVTS funded? Did the Met Council chip in to build it, and if yes then what gives MVTA the right to charge the Met Council to use a facility they helped pay for?

Of course, no matter what the details behind this mess are, MVTA should let it go and allow Metro Transit to use AVTS. It's been half a year since Metro Transit gained the Red Line contract and spending the amount of time, money, and resources trying to fight that with lawyers, gatekeeping, and running their own competing service is just terrible policy.

Trademark
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Re: Red Line (Cedar Avenue BRT)

Postby Trademark » June 18th, 2021, 8:02 am

I wish that there was a bus that ran out to where the red line was supposed to be extended too. Even on a hourly basis there are a ton of industrial jobs that are currently there or relocating there in the stretch of highway 70 between cedar ave and dodd blvd. I don't think that BRT will ever be justified on that route, but that doesn't mean that regular bus service can't be supported.

Especially with the new amazon fulfillment center that will be opening soon there.

Also it could hit downtown lakeville too.


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