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Posts in Category: Minneapolis

Light Rail METRO Blue Line METRO Green Line Minneapolis Ridership

Final Four leads to record light rail ridership 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, April 18, 2019 11:46:00 AM

Metro Transit brought tens of thousands of fans to U.S. Bank Stadium for the 2019 NCAA Men's Final Four in Minneapolis.The METRO Blue and Green lines each set single-day ridership records on Monday, April 8, when the NCAA Men’s Final Four championship game was held at U.S. Bank Stadium.

There were 62,686 rides provided on the Blue Line and 68,210 rides on the Green Line that day. The combined total of 130,896 light rail rides topped the previous single-day light rail ridership record set on Sept. 11, 2017.

April 8 was the busiest day on the Green Line since Oct. 3, 2016, when the Vikings played a Monday night game at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Blue Line’s previous single-day ridership record was set on Aug. 24, 2018.

Altogether, Metro Transit provided nearly 160,000 more light rail rides between Friday, April 5, and Tuesday, April 9, when Final Four activities were being held across downtown Minneapolis. Total rides on those dates are being compared to the same days the prior week.

Metro Transit also played a key role on Saturday, April 13, when Minnesota United hosted its inaugural match at Allianz Field. An estimated 5,500 fans took the Green Line and A Line to the stadium, at the corner of University and Snelling avenues.

Fans can take light rail to every major stadium in the Twin Cities, including CHS Field, TCF Bank Stadium and Target Field.

“As Minnesota sports fans and visitors can attest, transit is the most convenient, affordable and enjoyable way to get to and from large events,” General Manger Wes Kooistra said. “We are happy to support our community in this way and look forward to having an even greater ability to do so as our network grows in the years ahead.”

Bus Minneapolis Rider Information

Buses moving from Hennepin to Nicollet during construction 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, April 11, 2019 12:14:00 PM

A Route 4 bus on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

There will be a lot more buses moving up and down Nicollet Mall soon. 

Beginning Monday, April 15, routes that normally serve Hennepin Avenue will be detoured to Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The detours will remain in place for up to four years as the city rebuilds Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street. 

City plans call for protected bikeways in each direction and eight enhanced station areas with shelters, real-time signs, heat, light and security features, among other improvements. Utility work is scheduled to begin this spring. 

Metro Transit partnered with the city as it developed plans to make the corridor more transit and pedestrian friendly. The new shelter areas will be served by local bus routes and the E Line, a Bus Rapid Transit service that will substantially replace parts of Route 6.

Routes 4, 6, 12, 61 and 141 make nearly 500 trips down Hennepin Avenue each weekday. During the detour, there will be nearly 1,300 trips on Nicollet Mall each weekday.

Passengers board or get off the bus on Hennepin Avenue around 11,000 times each weekday. During the detour, passengers are expected to board or get off the bus along Nicollet Mall around 32,000 times each weekday. 

To speed up boardings, riders are encouraged to use Go-To Cards or to purchase fares in advance using Metro Transit's mobile app. Passengers should also exit out the rear door. 

Schedules will be adjusted in June. Up to five minutes may be added to routes that move from Hennepin Avenue to Nicollet Mall.​

Nicollet Mall was seen as the best detour route because the corridor has new waiting shelters, real time signs and is close to destinations and transfer points.   

The Hennepin Avenue detour is one of several service changes occurring due to construction in downtown Minneapolis. 

In March, routes 5, 9, 19, 22, 39 and 755 moved from 8th Street South to 6th Street South to allow for construction. 

Express routes that serve downtown Minneapolis also continue to be impacted by construction on the Interstate 35W corridor. Ramps between I-35W and 46th Street are scheduled to close this summer. Buses that would normally uses these ramps will get on and off I-35W at Diamond Lake Road. 

Stay informed

Need help planning a trip? Call the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333

Community Minneapolis Northstar

In Coon Rapids, hobbyists create scaled-down Northstar 

Posted by Laura Baenen | Wednesday, April 03, 2019 12:08:00 PM

Maria Dierks of Elk River and her grandchildren admire miniature Northstar commuter rail operations and maintenance facility in Big Lake, Minn.Customers who ride the Northstar Commuter Rail Line must look up to take in the nearly 300,000-pound, 16-foot tall locomotives that pull passenger cars between Minneapolis and Big Lake. 

But in the basement of a former Coon Rapids grocery store at 1929 Coon Rapids Blvd., the dimensions of Minnesota’s only commuter rail line aren’t nearly as daunting.

There, the North Metro Model Railroad Club has included miniaturized versions of Northstar’s Operations and Maintenance Facility, locomotives and passenger cars in a sprawling, 5,000-square-foot display of railroads from the Twin Cities to north central Minnesota.

As lifelike as it is, Maria Dierks of Elk River astutely observed a small disparity between the model and the reality it represents. Dierks, who attended a recent open house with her grandchildren, pointed to a Big Lake grain elevator that she said was out of place.

“That’s just where it fundamentally fit in our layout,” said Mitch Pierson, a Coon Rapids resident who built the Northstar model with Jeff Dombrowski of Maple Grove.

Pierson, Dombrowski and other members of the North Metro Model Railroad Club opened their private space to the public last month, responding to interest from a recent feature on WCCO. The club hosts public open houses occasionally throughout the year.

The misplaced grain elevator may not be noticed by most, but the model has other obvious distinctions from its real-life counterpart. The model omits Northstar’s stations and features 25 passenger cars, as opposed to the 18 that the real Northstar uses.

But model railroading is a hobby where there’s always more to do. Dombrowski said he’d like to add motorized doors and lighting to the 3-foot-by-2-foot maintenance facility. If a proposal to extend Northstar to St. Cloud comes to fruition, that too could be represented in the model.

The Northstar model was built in 2013, four years after the real-life service began. The club’s display also includes the Northtown Yard in Fridley and the Shoreham Yards Roundhouse in Minneapolis, among other freight railroad lines and facilities.

To cover expenses, the club’s 45 members pay up to $40 a month in dues. Members have access to the building and can control the trains through apps on their smartphones. Almost $80,000 has been invested in the display since work began in 2011.  

For more information, visit the North Metro Model Railroad Club’s website, nmmrc.org.

 

Bus Minneapolis Rider Information

Construction leads to detours in downtown Minneapolis 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Monday, March 04, 2019 1:03:00 PM

Multiple routes will be detoured off a busy downtown Minneapolis street beginning Saturday, March 9, the first of several service changes that will occur this year due to road construction in the city center.

Beginning March 9, southbound trips on routes 5, 9, 19, 22, 39 and 755 will shift from 8th Street South to 6th Street South. During the detour, the routes will also stop serving the 7th Street/Ramp A Transit Center. 

The City of Minneapolis is rebuilding 8th Street between Hennepin and Chicago avenues. Utility work has been underway for months, reducing traffic lanes. This spring, crews will begin a full reconstruction of the corridor. Buses will return to 8th Street when construction is completed. 

As part of the city's reconstruction efforts, the roadway will be repaved, sidewalks will be widened and several Bus Rapid Transit stations will be added. Both the C Line and the D Line will operate on 8th Street.

The 7th Street/Ramp A Transit Center, a future BRT stop, will also be improved this year. When the C Line opens in June, customers will use stops on 6th Street. 

There are currently 350 bus trips on 8th Street South each weekday. 

Moving service to 6th Street South allows customers to remain closer to the city center. Schedules have been adjusted to account for the new routing.

Additional detours will go into effect in downtown Minneapolis later this year.

As early as April, the city plans to begin a nearly three-year reconstruction of Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street. Hennepin Avenue routes will shift to Nicollet Mall during construction.  

Pedestrian and transit improvements are also being incorporated into the Hennepin Avenue project.

Several other route and schedule changes will take effect on Saturday, March 9. The changes are being made as part of the regularly scheduled, quarterly service adjustments. The next round of service changes is scheduled to take effect on Saturday, June 8.

Click the map to view the 8th Street bus stops that will close beginning March 9, and where buses will stop on 6th Street.

Map of the 8th Street bus stops that will close beginning March 9, and where buses will stop on 6th Street.

Open stops when busses operate on 6th St. downtown Minneapolis beginning March 9
Route 5 - Southbound Glenwood at 7th St N
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
6th St just past 4th
6th St between Park and Chicago
Chicago just past 8th
Route 9 - Eastbound

Glenwood Ave at 10th St
Glenwood at 7th St N
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
6th St just past 4th
Portland just past 9th St

Route 19 – Southbound

10th St at Twins Way
Glenwood at 7th St N
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
6th St just past 4th
6th St between Park and Chicago

Route 22 – Southbound

10th St at Twins Way
Glenwood at 7th St N
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
5th Ave at 5th St
5th Ave at 4th St

Route 39 – Southbound

5th St Garage
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
6th St between 4th
Portland Ave just past 9th St

Route 755 – Southbound

10th St at Twins Way
Glenwood at 7th St N
6th St at Hennepin
6th St at Nicollet
6th St between 2nd and 3rd Ave
5th Ave at 5th St

Learn more about service changes that begin March 9

Beginning Saturday, March 9, changes will be made to several routes operated by Metro Transit & Maple Grove Transit. Find an overview of the changes at metrotransit.org

How We Roll Minneapolis Northstar

How We Roll: Mike Conlon 

Posted by Laura Baenen | Thursday, February 28, 2019 3:11:00 PM

Mike Conlon

Many Metro Transit employees are committed to sustainable transportation, riding the bus or train, biking or walking to work and other destinations across the region.

These “How We Roll” profiles illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Mike Conlon, Director of Rail and Bus Safety

How do you get to work?

I drive from my home in Lino Lakes to the Fridley Park & Ride, where I get on the Northstar Commuter Rail Line. Fifteen minutes later I’m at Target Field and take a short walk to Heywood.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

Skipping the traffic between Minneapolis and Fridley. When construction started on Interstate 94 in 2017, the alternate roads became completely jammed. Construction in Minneapolis also meant there were too many users – automobiles, pedestrians, cyclists – for the available space. 

Under those conditions, it became clear that it would be easier and take less time to take Northstar. It’s a smoother commute both ways with few surprises. Going home, I traded the stress of fighting the traffic for fighting to stay awake, so I didn’t miss my stop. I’ll take that trade. 

Why is it important to you to ride transit?

It’s important for three reasons: pain, preference and perspective.

There was nothing altruistic in my decision to make transit a part of my daily commute. I did it because the pain of continuing to drive outweighed the pain of the change. 

But I also ride transit because I like it. It suits me. In every city I visit, whether it’s for business or pleasure, I use transit. I’ve taught safety classes for the Federal Transit Administration in 20 major U.S. cities and used the transit in each of those cities. I insisted on seeing and using the maglev (a magnetically propelled train) in Shanghai, China, as well as the local and high-speed rail there, and in Beijing, Xian and Hong Kong. I look forward to using the local and high-speed rail in Italy soon.

There is also something serendipitous about my local transit trips. If you pay attention, you can see some real kindness being practiced. When I ride Route 18 sometimes, I see folks make a spot for someone who may not be as able to get around, and it doesn’t matter how crowded the bus is. It just happens. Ten people launch into action, some finding another spot for themselves and others lifting the seat to make room. I am grateful for having noticed. 

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