Skip to main content For screen readers, our previous mobile pages might be more easily navigated while we continue to improve the accessibility of our website.

 

Posts in Category: Community

Bus Community Light Rail Minneapolis St. Paul

Reflections on November in the Twin Cities 

Posted by Kathy Graul | Wednesday, November 30, 2016 10:13:00 AM

Does anyone else feel like November has flown by? A presidential election, unseasonably warm temperatures and Vikings games in the new stadium are just a few of the highlights. We at Metro Transit are thankful for the opportunity to look back and reflect on this month through the stunning photography featuring public transportation in the Twin Cities that we've admired on Instagram. 

Here we offer a look back at some of our favorite images from this month - which is your favorite? 

And by the way, are you following us on Instagram? It's a great place to connect with us and see the creative side of transit. We might also feature your photo if it catches our eye! (Just be sure to tag us!)

Purple skies over the Vikings stadium, with the Blue Line featured in the foreground

Reflections of a Route 6 bus heading over the Hennepin Avenue bridge

 

"The old cathedrals are good, but the great blue dome that hangs over everything is better." -- Thomas Carlyle

A photo posted by Joe -- St. Paul, MN (@theuptown5) on

Snow finally falling in downtown Minneapolis

Super-speedy Green Line

Moody morning light rail shot in downtown Minneapolis

 

Early mornings are a little darker these days.

A photo posted by Jeremy (@jeremy.delane) on

Green Line train passing through Government Plaza

 

The green line.

A photo posted by Max Webb (@webbwonder) on

Bus C Line Community

C Line plans being shaped by outreach 

| Friday, October 14, 2016 3:16:00 PM

Plans for the region’s second rapid bus line, the C Line, are being shaped by coordinated outreach and engagement efforts that invite residents to think about transit improvements as one of several community-building tools.

For the last several years, Hennepin County planners have worked closely with Metro Transit, the City of Minneapolis and local partners on the Penn Avenue Community Works project. 

The partnership was forged in part because Hennepin County plans to reconstruct Penn Avenue between Broadway and Lowry avenues and to repave portions of Penn, Lowry and Dowling avenues at the same time the C Line is under construction along Penn Avenue.

With full funding, C Line construction will begin in 2018. The C Line will be the region’s second rapid bus line, with service between downtown Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center.

Planned light rail extensions will also bring new transit investments to the Penn Avenue corridor.

Beyond these investments, Penn Avenue Community Works is looking at street lighting, green space, transit-oriented development and other improvements that could help make the Penn Avenue corridor more attractive and stimulate economic development.

Engagement efforts occurring this month bring attention to the C Line, which will provide faster and more frequent bus service to customers currently served by Route 19. The customer experience will also be improved through enhanced stations, off-board fare payment and specially-designed buses.

The Council approved station locations in April and will take up a recommendation to align C Line construction and operations with the planned Blue Line Extension later this year.

Scheduled to open in 2021, the Blue Line Extension will bring light rail from Target Field to Brooklyn Center, including two stations on Olson Memorial Highway (Penn Avenue and Van White Memorial Boulevard).

The C Line is scheduled to open on the same stretch of Olson Memorial Highway in early 2019.

Metro Transit is recommending that three temporary C Line stops on Olson Memorial Highway be built and later replaced by permanent shelters on a nearby section of Glenwood Avenue, now served by Route 9, after the Blue Line Extension opens.

Moving the stops to Glenwood Avenue would have no impact on travel time. But the switch would spread the transit investment and could help attract more riders in the future.

The recommendation will be presented for feedback at an open house at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Harrison Education Center. Staff is also sharing information with neighborhood groups and directly with customers through bus stop and on-board outreach.

    > Learn more about the C Line

    > Penn Avenue Community Works

Bus Community

Yarn Bus provides ‘unexpected joy’ 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Wednesday, October 05, 2016 1:38:00 PM

Over the last two years, local artist Knitteapolis has wrapped more than 1,000 stop sign posts, bike racks, statues and other fixed objects around the Twin Cities with yarn.

This week, she put her creative stamp, known as a “yarn bomb,” on something a little less static – a Metro Transit bus.

Christened the “Yarn Bus,” handrails are wrapped in green yarn and dotted with a colorful array of knitted leaves, flowers, mushrooms and vines that give the bus a forested feel.

“I’m thinking this will really allow people to check out during their commute, to transport not just their bodies but their brains,” said Knitteapolis, who keeps her identity a secret. “I think a lot of people are going to miss their stops.”

Knitteapolis provided the spark, contacting Metro Transit to see if her idea could become a reality. With the agency’s support, the project expanded beyond a solo effort.

The Minnesota Machine Knitters Guild made the green base that serves as the foundation and the Minnesota Knitters Guild contributed several of the trimmings.

Much of the work happened off of the bus, with thousands of yards of yard woven together in preparation for installation.

The final stitching was done the day before the Yarn Bus debuted, Tuesday, Oct. 4. The bus will be in service for the next two months, rotating through several routes (advance announcements will be made on select dates).

Knitteapolis said she’s eager to see how people react to her latest project. “This is what I’d call a random act of fun,” she said. “I hope it brings people unexpected joy and a smile.”

Customers who board the bus are encouraged to take photos and share them on social media using the hashtag #yarnbus

    > Star Tribune: Metro Transit bus gets 'yarn bombed'

    > GoMN: The 'Yarn Bomb' bus: 'Just to make people smile, that's the whole point'

Bus Community Shelters

Shelters for small spaces introduced 

| Friday, July 29, 2016 9:58:00 AM

The “slim shelters” are two feet deep at the base but still have the standard four-foot deep rooftop to provide shade and protection from the elements. The shelters will also have a small bench and a location for transit information.A new type of waiting shelter that fits in locations with limited sidewalk space was introduced this week.

The “slim shelters” are two feet deep at the base but still have the standard four-foot deep rooftop to provide shade and protection from the elements. The shelters will also have a small bench and a location for transit information.

The new shelters were designed for bus stops where standard shelters — four or six feet deep at their base — would have gotten in the way of pedestrians. There are 40 sites where the new slim shelters could be installed over the next few years.

The shelters were developed with input from customers, members of the Transit Accessibility Advisory Committee and Metro Transit staff.

The new shelters are part of an ongoing effort to improve bus stops throughout the region through the Better Bus Stops program.

More than 40 new shelters are expected to be installed by the end of the year, including 18 slim shelters. Another 50 shelters that were privately owned and managed are also due to be replaced in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Roseville and West St. Paul this year.

Metro Transit continues to work with local community groups to get feedback that will influence potential changes to shelter placement guidelines and future bus stop improvements. The engagement efforts are focused on areas of concentrated poverty where more than half of residents are people of color.

A region-wide survey​ about bus stops is also ongoing.​

    > Photos: Slim Shelters

    > Better Bus Stops

    > Better Bus Stops Survey

Community Light Rail Retro Transit

Staff preserving transit of today and yesterday 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, July 07, 2016 2:51:00 PM

Signals Foreperson Mike Miller inside the Winona Streetcar No. 10 currently being restored in Excelsior.Mike Miller was studying electronics when he paid his first visit to the newly-opened Como-Harriet Streetcar Line in south Minneapolis.

Immediately intrigued, he began working alongside volunteers committed to keeping Streetcar No. 1300, a vestige of Twin City Rapid Transit that once ran on University Avenue, operating between Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun.

Nearly 40 years later Miller is helping bring yet another piece of streetcar history back to life, spending several hours a week wiring and installing electrical components on a streetcar that operated in Winona from 1913 through 1938.

A small group of Minnesota Streetcar Museum volunteers began meticulously restoring the streetcar a decade ago. Freshly painted pumpkin orange and cream, the Winona No. 10 streetcar is expected to make its public debut on a short stretch of track near downtown Excelsior later this year.

“It really is a strikingly handsome car,” Miller said recently from the carbarn where the streetcar and others in various states of repair are kept.

Miller’s involvement in the project is a study in contrasts: by day, he works as a Signal Foreperson ensuring the lights, signals and sensors along the region’s presentday light rail lines are operating as intended.

But while there are clear differences — light-rail cars feed off of 3,000-amp substations while the Excelsior streetcar line uses a 300-amp power supply — there are also plenty of parallels. 

A box tucked beneath a passenger seat will house an alarm panel similar to those found on light-rail vehicles. Miles of wiring connect relays, sensors and fuses that control the doors, lights and bells. And a custom-designed control panel mounted in the cab allows the operator to quickly troubleshoot while in service.

The streetcar retains its authentic feel, but the wiring provides modern-day protections that improve safety and reliability. 

“When I talk about what I’m doing with colleagues at work, they say ‘You’re not restoring a streetcar, you’re building a light-rail vehicle,’” said Miller, who began in Metro Transit’s radio shop in 2001. “Well, almost.”

Miller isn’t the only Metro Transit staffer with a foot in the old and new worlds of transportation. 

Bus operator Fred Beamish and Senior Planner John Dillery volunteer as streetcar operators on the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line. Senior Signal Engineer Phil Wellman and Engineering & Facilities Intern Ryan Heath serve on the St. Paul’s Minnesota Transportation Museum’s Board of Directors.

Wellman’s grandfather and great-grandfather each worked in the railroad industry and he began volunteering at the museum while still in high school, scraping grease from old locomotives.

Senior Signal Engineer Phil Wellman on one of the locomotives operated by the Minnesota Transportation Museum.The work led him to a job as an entry-level Signals Systems Draftsman and, in 2003, to his joining Metro Transit’s fledgling Signals Department. The locomotives the museum operates between Osceola, Wisc. and Marine on St. Croix, Minn., are decades old but Wellman said there are still similarities to the work he does at Metro Transit.

“I’m very comfortable working in both worlds and there are a lot of parallel principles so it’s fun to crossover,” Wellman said.

Several Metro Transit retirees are also actively engaged in the preservation of Minnesota’s transportation history.

Retired Mechanic-Technician Howie Melco, whose grandfather was a streetcar operator, became involved in the Como-Harriet Streetcar Line when he was 19 years old and has used his craftsmanship to help bring several streetcars back to life over the years.

On the Winona streetcar, he carefully sliced off the bottom eight inches of the body, replacing it seamlessly with new material and applying layers of glossy paint. “It’s getting exciting toward the end here,” Melco said.

Aaron Isaacs, who worked at Metro Transit from 1973 to 2006, has written extensively about the region’s streetcar history and leads the Minnesota Streetcar Museum, which operates both the Como-Harriet and Excelsior lines.

The Como-Harriet streetcar barn was recently expanded to provide space for another streetcar and a collection of streetcar history.

For Miller, the Signal Foreperson, the decades spent volunteering with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum are both inspiring and rewarding. He’s especially proud of the Winona restoration, his biggest undertaking to date. Miller estimates the project will command at least 1,000 hours of his time before completion.

“Sooner or later this thing is going to run,” he said. “I look forward to saying I helped make it happen.”

 
 
Page 5 of 14 << < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>

Skip footer navigation

CONTACT US
FOLLOW US ON: