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Help shape the future of Metro Transit bus service. We're setting priorities for our growing transit system.

The Service Improvement Plan (SIP) is a service expansion plan that builds on the existing bus network and identifies opportunities to add new routes and improve frequency and span on existing service. It is a prioritized vision for how Metro Transit will seek to improve the local and express bus service through 2030. The improvements identified in the SIP depend on additional funding for transit operations to be implemented.

Final Plan

The Final SIP screened 185 proposed improvements in the Metro Transit Service area. Based on the evaluation measures, each proposed improvement was ranked High, Medium or Low. The 148 projects ranked High or Medium and are priorities for implementation; 11 unfunded Arterial BRT projects are also included in the Final Plan. Projects in the Final SIP are dispersed throughout the region and across all route types – express, urban and suburban local routes, and urban supporting/crosstown routes.

> Executive Summary   (Español)   (Lus Hmoob)  (Soomaali)
> Full Report with appendices (large file)
> Chapter 1: Introduction
> Chapter 2: Plan Context
> Chapter 3: Transit Service Planning Overview
> Chapter 4: Public Engagement
> Chapter 5: Creating the SIP
> Chapter 6: The Service Improvement Plan
> Chapter 7: Impacts
> Chapter 8: Title VI Service Equity Analysis
> Chapter 9: Moving Forward

The Metropolitan Council approved the Final SIP in April 2015. View the April 13 presentation to the Council Transportation Committee.


Draft Plan

A draft plan was released in October 2014. For the following month, the public was invited to review and comment on the plan: Metro Transit held six public meetings seeking input on the Draft SIP. In addition to attending a public meeting, the public could provide feedback on comment cards available on bus routes and by email, phone and U.S. mail. The Draft SIP was available for review at county libraries within Metro Transit’s service area and at Metro Transit Service Centers in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The Draft SIP screened 165 proposed improvements in the Metro Transit service area. Based on the evaluation measures, each proposed improvement was ranked High, Medium or Low; 122 projects scored either a High or Medium and are priorities for implementation; 11 unfunded Arterial BRT projects also are included in the Draft Plan.

Metro Transit received more than 500 service suggestions from nearly 200 individuals and community organizations. Most of the comments either supported or requested additional improvements to the frequency and span of existing routes. As a result of the feedback, the Final Plan includes 24 new projects and many items already in the Draft Plan were modified and reevaluated. 

 


Transit Planning 101

Español     Lus Hmoob     Soomaali

 

Many things go into making the transit network effective. Here are four key elements:

Transit that connects a multitude of people to the places where they live, work, shop and play.
Transit that is a cost-effective use of public funds.
Transit that provides a basic level of access across the region.
Transit that supports efficient development.

 

Metro Transit uses these planning principles in mind when designing bus service:

Complex route vs. simple route

Design simple, direct routes

Simple routes that travel in nearly a straight line are easy to understand and provide faster and more frequent service. A route that zigzags will be slower, more confusing and cost more to operate.

Serve areas with high density of uses

Places with many people and destinations within a compact area are more cost-effective to serve with transit. Higher density allows for a smaller number of routes to serve a greater number of people and needs, making transit useful to more people.

High density usage

Balance frequency and coverage

This is the big tradeoff in transit. Metro Transit must balance its limited resources between providing fast, frequent service that people may have to walk to with service that covers more area but operates less frequently. The goal: serving the highest number of people while providing basic access across the region.

Match level of service to demand

Whenever possible, we offer bigger buses and more frequent service where needed. Providing too much service is expensive and prevents trips and routes from being added in another area that needs it. Providing too little service makes transit less useful and can lead to crowding on existing service.


Listening to customers

Metro Transit engaged stakeholders throughout the process of creating the SIP. We regularly hear from customers about improvements they would like implemented: higher frequency on core urban routes, better suburb-to-suburb connections, more urban crosstown routes, new express service,faster travel times and more customer amenities. 

Stakeholder workshops and survey
We began developing the SIP in Fall 2013 with stakeholder workshops and a survey.

• Purpose of the workshops: Engage stakeholders and enlist their assistance in reaching out to their constituents

• Workshops were held in Edina, St. Paul and Brooklyn Center. Staff and elected officials from every city and county in Metro Transit's service area were invited, along with representatives from nearly 200 community groups.

> See the workshop presentation (.pdf)

Winter 2013-2014 Survey
Nearly 4,000 surveys were received! Metro Transit staff analyzed the data, and used it to create the SIP. The feedback from the survey informed the guiding principles behind the plan and helped develop the criteria we will use to evaluate and prioritize improvements.

> View a summary that outlines the outreach process, and includes survey results and a draft of the plan's guiding principles
 

November 2014 Public Comment Period
A draft plan was released in October 2014. For the following month, the public was invited to review and comment on the plan: Metro Transit held six public meetings seeking input on the Draft SIP. In addition, the public could provide feedback on comment cards available on bus routes and by email, phone and U.S. mail. The Draft SIP was available for review at county libraries within Metro Transit’s service area and at Metro Transit Service Centers in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Metro Transit received more than 500 service suggestions from nearly 200 individuals and community organizations. Most of the comments either supported or requested additional improvements to the frequency and span of existing routes. 

Timeline

Stakeholder Outreach

   Nov.-Dec. 2013

Receive Public Input

   Dec.-Feb. 2014

Review/Process Input

   Feb.-April 2014

Develop Draft SIP

   May-Oct. 2014

Public Review

   November 2014

Finalize SIP

   Early 2015

 

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