Transit needs density to be cost-effective.  Some of our busiest (and slowest) urban transit routes (Hennepin Avenue) aren't getting the improvements they need to make a really great transit system.  Use Bus Rapid Transit, dynamic signage, off-bus fare collection and actually invest in bus stops (not just a pole in the ground) to create a cost-effective and useful transit system.

20 Comments 53 Votes Acknowledged
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Ryan x about 2 years ago

I agree whole-heartedly! I would love to see a shift in funding and attention toward the urban core transit system as compared to just shifting subsidization from roads to exurban transit routes. (i.e. the Gateway Corridor) What sort of ROI will that line achieve compared to a more robust and higher level of service core transit system?

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Keith Morris about 2 years ago

Agreed. You could build LRT stations way out into the burbs, but guess what? It doesn't lower the MSP region's dependence on oil/cars. Go out on the further flung stations in DC and the although you'll see dense residential ddevelopments areound the stations there's nothing to walk to and everyone still drives everywhere out there: including to get to the LRT station if you don't live nxt to it. And you *still* have 12 lanes of traffic moving slowly along at 2PM out there. Without development guidelines in place, LRT's potential is vastly undercut and serves as fodder for reactionary anti-transit types.

This is why it makes more sense to focus on areas that already are urban and dense and don't need tons of millions to retrofit them into walkable, bikeable and *safe* to drive places (the most dangerous intersections in MSP are high-speed suburban style arterial roads where serious injuries and fatalities are more likely to occur). Hennepen Ave has been considered for a center lane streetcar line and would likely be successful with less frequent stops, which combined with traffic makes taking the bus somewhat inefficeient. Improving the existing bus infrastructue with real shelters for real rain, sleet and snow or a possible BRT.

One simple thing that MetroTransit could do that would really improve service would be to switch over to card-only fare: announce it months in advance and then do it. There are already plenty of places to buy cards, including the internet where they send it right to your home. They'e reusable and durable: just make sure you fill them a day in advance, which right now is a bit annoying in my experience. And this way you don't have to worry about that one person fumbling around forever to pluck out an occaisional dime or nickel.

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John Diers about 2 years ago

Transit can't be all things to all people. Investments should only be made where there is a  market for the service. In that regard, the Council should set clear guidelines and performance standards, particularly for the opt out communities where costs and subsidies per passenger are high. Routes and services that fail to meet these standards should be discontinued, or the served community required to make up the difference between the subsidy standard and the cost of operating the route or service. The Council should also consider distance based (zoned) fares for service beyond the first ring suburbs.

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Darielle Dannen about 2 years ago

Agreed.  Why not invest in popular routes - making them faster, more efficient and even more popular.  When I lived in uptown car-free I gave up riding the bus because it was rarely on-time and not that efficient.  Instead I commuted by bike year-round, which I would not have done if the bus had been a more reliable method of bus transportation. 

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Leon Hazare about 2 years ago

School children cannot ride school buses if they live less than 1 mile from school but METRO Transit want to provide services for riders within 1/4 mile or less .This  would be cost effective if the demand was there or the densityis there .

RT #8 in Prospect pK is subsized at$7 which is almost 3 times the norm the daily average is 3 riders /bus of which 1/2 of the route is duplicated.All Rt 8 riders are within 1/4-1/2 mile to rt16/50 which operates every 10mins or better so is rt2.many#8  buses are running empty yet it is running every30mins all day

Plymouth Ave rt 7 is another route with many empty trips yet this route runs every30mins (5am to 1210 am)daily even though there are several hi-frq buslines that intersect with PLY Ave. N MPLS have hundreds of vacant homes so demand will be lower.

RT 6U in SE is mostly duplicated also.

Reallocate these resources to areas that is underserved such as rt63-94 and all others with long gaps.

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Aziz Mirza about 2 years ago

I agree there are too routes with  duplicative services  in MPLS The  rt7 on PLy Ave and SE with rt6U Most riders are within a 4 block s to a  buslines These routes are redundant

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Jaleeb Norris about 2 years ago

The Prospect Pk bus#8  has never had a ridership to justify operating with duplication with rt2  Riders can walk to Univ Ave to the high frequency rts 16/50

I noticed many empty buses on rt7 frequently even rush hr the buses have too few riders.

The Rt3 can easily replace rt 6U in SE instead of duplicating routing  with rt16/50 .Many areas can use so expansion such as Rt63/94

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Breanne x about 2 years ago

It is important to focus high volume transit efforts in areas that have such housing densities to support active ridership. Service in other, lower density areas should focus on park and rides and express bus service.

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Jason Sundar about 2 years ago

The are several redundant buslines competing with each other #7 on PLy Avenue with 4 buslines nearby,

Rt6U in SE Mpls  with #2-3-4-16-50-10-11-17-25-61 all are within walking distance of each other in SE .

The MET COUNCIL  guidline is ok for cities with millions to offer services every 4 blocks especailly when demand is so low .

MVTA offer all day services to Brown College  but MEtro transit keep operating rt415.

 METC frequency guidlines is too low for AREA 1-2 where the buses should be running atleast  every 30mins but yet there are hourly services  in ST PAUL  on Grand/E 3rd St ,,Maryland  between the downtowns on weekends i-94 express.METC does not follow their own guidline.

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Linda Sippy about 2 years ago

METC chose the routing for SW LRT with very lowt density The Kenilworth is a poor choice while ignore the developed areas serving the busiest buslines in MPLS. HENN/NIC/lake/Lyndale all have slow bus services becasue of the traffic. 

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Robert Bedasso about 2 years ago

Spending $1M to operate #134/144 in St Paul where there are already  high frequency bus services with connection to LRT /express and limited  stops routes is waste of money.Anyone want to catch a bus on Grand Ave must wait  an hour..This is "hardly good services"on a major street 

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Alfonson Raya about 2 years ago

People will walk further to faster service  .Some areas in the central cities there are some buslines that have no useful purpose.

People will not wait  30mins for Grand Ave bus  or 3 rd Ave  bus when Nicollet  #18  is less than 5 blocks  away  with 10mins headways.

Remove duplications such as Selby Ave ,Se Mpls ,Ply Ave ,Rice St,Snelling Ave,Cleveland Ave all have too many overlapping routes  .Focus on local routes with more frequent services with fewer routes to simply the system .It is easier for riders to memorize. Two buslines with 30mins that is 4 blocks apart can be combine with 15mins services  with some riders walking  longer.New improved rt 54 and 74  was created with restructuring with more frequent services.Established more frequent network bettter than 30mins on major streets where ridership is high

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Roy Dubay about 2 years ago

Offer better services on the route94 on weekends people shoudlnot have to wait 30-60mins for a bus.Rt94 will be faster than the LRT when it open so int he meantime add some trips.

To pay for this cut the underused 71G on SAT whihc are empty

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Pablo Mones about 2 years ago

Invest on the busy #63 and 94 (unitl 2014 when LRT open).Fill in gaps longer than 30mins on key routes #3-74-63-94 

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Martin B about 2 years ago

RT 94 offer a fast service between the downtowns but here are too many long gaps as much as hourly .This is faster than the proposed LRT so make some improvements

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Helen G almost 2 years ago

The 94 is faster than the LRT so run more frequent weekends and nights atleast 1/2 hourly and 20mins Midday SAT

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Barry K almost 2 years ago

GREEN LINE to SW metro will not get the ridership unless the routing is change to Uptown where there are high densities...

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Carlos S almost 2 years ago

Greenline extension in MPls will serve low density areas in the Kenilworth routing while ignore the high density are in the option 3C via Midtown

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Neil Doyen almost 2 years ago

Once again METC seems to be wasting money on Northstar rail where the density is low and subsidy is high with limited scheduled to be usefull .The option for the Greenline is another mistake to run via Cedarlake rather than Uptown/Lynlake/Nicollet where the densities are very high.The officals ignore the ridership on this option and mislead the public to think this routing will get the same ridership as the Kenilworth routing.

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eva pinex 11 months ago

Change routing on the GREENLINE to UPtown not thru Kenwood for rich folks who have cars ans low density housings #25 is the only buslines with very low rdiership even rush hours ( no off peak)

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