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: Minneapolis

Bus Rapid Transit Minneapolis

Input sought on North Minneapolis BRT plans 

| Monday, November 16, 2015 8:52:00 AM

A draft station plan for the C Line.Residents are invited to provide feedback on plans for a new arterial Bus Rapid Transit Line that will serve North Minneapolis at a series of November open houses.

Like the A Line on Snelling Avenue​, the C Line will improve on local bus service through a combination of enhanced stations, larger buses and faster, more frequent service.

The C Line will follow the Route 19 alignment between downtown Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center, with service on Penn Avenue and Olson Memorial Highway. In downtown Minneapolis, the C Line will operate on 7th and 8th streets. 

A Draft Station Plan, published last week, provides more details on 24 locations where BRT stations are planned. The public can learn more about those station plans at the open house and provide comments through Dec. 6.

Feedback will be incorporated before plans are finalized and more detailed engineering work begins in 2016. With funding, construction will begin in 2017.

C Line open houses will be held according to the following schedule:

    > Tuesday, Nov. 17 — 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Minneapolis Central Library, and 6-8 p.m. at Patrick Henry High School 

    > Wednesday, Nov. 18 — 6-8 p.m. at Harrison Education Center 

    > Thursday, Nov. 19 — 6-8 p.m. at Lucy Laney Community School 

C Line resources

    > C Line Station Plan

    > C Line Fact Sheet

    > C Line FAQs

    > Subscribe to C Line Update

Bus Minneapolis Suburban Transit

Minneapolis commute made easy with Maple Grove Transit 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Wednesday, November 04, 2015 9:14:00 AM

Customers exit a Maple Grove Transit bus in downtown Minneapolis.For nearly 20 years, Leslie Ross has taken the bus to and from his job in downtown Minneapolis.

Since moving to Maple Grove in 2007, that’s meant riding Maple Grove Transit Route 781, an express service that gets him from to and from work in a little over a half-hour.

“It’s my time before and after work to just relax and read the newspaper or a book,” Ross said on a recent morning commute. “I don’t even check work e-mail because it’s just so nice to have this small amount of time that I can unwind.”

The opportunity to trade a stressful and time-consuming commute for a faster and more enjoyable ride has led many others in the north metro community to the same conclusion. In 2014, more than 788,000 rides were provided on Maple Grove Transit’s six express routes with service to downtown Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota.

Though buses and Park & Rides are owned by and carry the name of Maple Grove Transit, the service itself is operated under contract by Metro Transit. Metro Transit’s operators drive the buses, mechanics at Metro Transit’s Martin J. Ruter Garage maintain the 39-bus fleet and fare payments are made using the same system used on Metro Transit vehicles. Metro Transit’s Customer Relations department also assists with feedback from Maple Grove Transit customers.

The City of Maple Grove manages Maple Grove Transit through its Transit Administrator, who conducts transit planning, administration, customer service and marketing.  The city also has a Transit Commission of eight customers who provide input.

Metro Transit has provided Maple Grove Transit services since 1990 and will continue to do so through at least 2018 after the recent approval of a three-year contract extension.

Maple Grove Transit Administrator Mike Opatz said Metro Transit has consistently provided great service and that he looks forward to building on the successes of the last 25 years. Among the improvements made this year was the addition of free WiFi to some Maple Grove Transit buses.

“We truly appreciate all of our partners throughout Metro Transit,” Opatz said. “We’re particularly grateful for the service and support we receive from the operators, garage staff and supervisors, and we look forward to continuing to work together in the years ahead.”

Maple Grove is one of 12 suburban communities that have chosen to “opt-out” and directly contract their transit services through other providers. SouthWest Transit provides service in Chanhassen, Chaska, and Eden Prairie; the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority provides service in seven south metro suburbs; and Plymouth Metrolink provides service in Plymouth. (MVTA merged with contracted providers in Shakopee and Prior Lake in 2014.)

For customers, the fact that the buses say Maple Grove Transit while the operators wear a Metro Transit uniform isn’t all that significant. Instead, they’re just happy to have an alternative to battling congestion on Interstate 94 (Maple Grove Transit routes use bus-only shoulders to bypass traffic).

On the same trip as Ross, the 20-year transit veteran, was newcomer Tara Roberts who began riding the bus just a few weeks earlier when she started training in downtown Minneapolis. Able to board just blocks from her home, Roberts uses her time commuting to text with her children instead of stressing about traffic and parking.

“I get anxiety when I drive downtown so I really didn’t want to deal with it,” she said.

After moving from Puerto Rico this summer, Carlos Muniz said he will be especially grateful that he can walk or take a short drive to the Maple Grove Transit Station near his home instead of having to drive as he faces his first Minnesota winter.

“It’s all new to me, so I think there would be a lot of complications with that,” he said. “I’m glad I’ll just be able to rely on the bus.”

Maple Grove Transit At a Glance

Routes: Routes 780, 781, 782, 783, 785 and 788 provide express, weekday service to and from downtown Minneapolis during peak periods. Route 787 offers midday and evening service on weekdays. Route 789 provides weekday express service to the University of Minnesota when fall and spring classes are in session.

Park & Rides: Free parking is available at five Park & Ride locations. Open since 2003, the largest Park & Ride is the Maple Grove Transit Station near the Shoppes at Arbor Lake; it features 926 parking spaces, a climate-controlled waiting area and bike storage. Open since 2010, Parkway Station has 800 parking spaces. Smaller Park & Rides are located on Zachary Lane, at Cross Winds Church and at the Shepherd of the Grove Church. 

Ridership: Customers took 788,000 rides on Maple Grove Transit routes in 2014; ridership has increased more than 10 percent since 2010.

More information: maplegrovemn.gov   

    > Good Question: Why are some routes operated under contract?    

Bus METRO Blue Line Minneapolis On the METRO

Transit-oriented development brings new life to Lake Street 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Tuesday, November 03, 2015 8:38:00 AM

Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the county's new service center on Lake Street.Drawn by its affordability and central location, Michael Denny moved to the Corcoran neighborhood more than 36 years ago. Cities across America were in decline but even then, he said, he had a feeling good things were going to happen in this corner of south Minneapolis.

The evidence in support of Denny’s hunch has been piling up ever since.

Over the last decades, the neighborhood has welcomed new businesses, a YMCA and a weekly farmer’s market that now draws more than 66,000 visitors a year. In 2004, the neighborhood celebrated the opening of the METRO Blue Line and its Lake Street/Midtown Station.

On Monday, neighborhood leaders joined officials from Hennepin County and partnering organizations to mark the start of another transformational project: a redevelopment that will bring a new county Human Services Center, retail space and more than 500 housing units to land immediately west of the LRT station.

For Denny, who raised two children in a home just blocks from the site, the promise of more neighborhood vitality further affirms his decision to call Corcoran home.

“I could sense something was happening when I moved here, and I still have a really good feeling about the neighborhood,” he said after the groundbreaking ceremony. “I’m all in – I found it (home).”

Getting to this point hasn’t come easily, however. For more than a decade, officials and community leaders have been talking about how to enliven the area surrounding the light-rail station.

Successful negotiations allowed the county to take control of more than six acres, including land used for a Metro Transit Park & Ride and a Minneapolis Public Schools building where adult learning classes are held. The Park & Ride closed earlier this year, and MPS will remain on site while searching for a new location nearby.

The Human Services Center, including retail space along Lake Street, is expected to open in late 2017. More than 100 apartments are also part of the first phase, with more housing to be phased in over time.

County officials pursued the deal as part of an effort to create a decentralized network of service centers to better serve the community. More than a quarter of county residents receive county assistance and more than 16 percent of those people are expected to use the new Lake Street location.

In addition to giving people better access to services, the redevelopment will bring housing and job opportunities that benefit existing residents and draw more people to the city.

“What we have now is a chance to re-create urban America as a place of opportunity,” Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin said.

Opportunity is also on the minds of more than 50 vendors at the Midtown Farmer’s Market, which wrapped up its 13th season in October. Though plans remain in the works, organizers look forward to having more conveniences for sellers and a better environment for all who attend.

“This will establish a real sense of permanency and create something that really feels like a home for the market,” Market Manager Miguel Goebel said.

The start of construction comes just months after a new senior housing project opened across Lake Street. That $45 million project includes 68 affordable apartments, a street-level plaza and a rooftop patio. (The Council provided a $1 million grant to support the transit-oriented development by Minneapolis-based Wellington Management.)

Transit-Oriented Development isn’t isolated to the Lake Street/Midtown Station area either.

Be the Match’s 900 employees will soon move into new offices next to Target Field Station, one of several developments in the rapidly-changing North Loop neighborhood. In St. Paul, a portion of a $28 million project that will bring more than 100 affordable apartments to what was a vacant used car dealership north of the Green Line’s Hamline Avenue Station will open in December.

Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said these and other projects that bring jobs, housing and services to areas that are well-served by transit make the Twin Cities more accessible and equitable.

“Transit-oriented development is about letting people choose where to live, work and recreate — and giving them the freedom to make those choices without worrying about the financial burdens they’ll face when it comes to transportation,” he said. 


'Transit Village' At a Glance

> Opening in 2017: Hennepin County Human Services Center, 114 workforce housing units, 8,000 square feet of retail space fronting Lake Street, a transit plaza and parking.

> Later phases will include the public gathering space, more than 400 residences and additional parking. 

> The project is being developed by L&H Station development, LLC, a joint venture between BKV Group and Launch Properties.


    > Hennepin County anchors transit-friendly development in south Minneapolis

    > Star Tribune: Officials break ground on development at Lake St. and Hiawatha Av.

    > Route 21: A crosstown with culture, community

    > Metro Transit: Transit-Oriented Development

Bus Community Minneapolis

Waiting for the bus while lounging in the ‘Living Room’ 

| Thursday, October 22, 2015 9:49:00 AM

Pillows, a chess board, markers, books and string lighting aren’t the kinds of things people are usually surrounded by while waiting for a bus.

But a new temporary shelter that went up this week in Minneapolis incorporates all of those things, part of a broader and continuing effort to enliven public spaces in the downtown core.

The temporary shelter – called “Living Room Station – Your Home Before You Get Home” – is located at the corner of South Sixth Street and Nicollet Mall, where more than 1,000 people board a bus each weekday.

Its installation is the product of a partnership between the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District and Metro Transit, which hope to gain some lessons learned that will shape future placemaking efforts not just at boarding areas but across downtown.                                 

The “Living Room Station” near Nicollet Mall was designed by the Musicant Group and constructed with help from Onyx Cycles, a manufacturing company based in North Minneapolis. Rider feedback collected by the Youth Coordinating Board's Street Outreach Team helped inspire the design.

“In our built environment, everything can be so hard and synthetic,” said Max Musicant, the founder and principal at the Musicant Group. “Our use of durable but natural materials and color creates a sense of welcoming and invitation that I think is often missing.”

The shelter will be up through at least the end of the month and there will be live entertainment at the site each weekday from 3:30-5 p.m. (see schedule below).

Another project – which might or might not include a physical shelter – is in the works for a boarding area at South Sixth Street and Second Avenue South, outside the Capella Tower.

Ben Shardlow, the DID’s Director of Public Realm Initiatives, said downtown’s high-traffic boarding areas each present unique opportunities. Because of that, he said property owners, customers and other stakeholders should work together on innovative solutions.

“Our focus is on places that aren’t working as well as they could, and working together on novel solution that meet the need,” he said.

The project comes as Metro Transit replaces shelters in the City of Minneapolis that were privately owned until last year. New and replacement shelters are also being installed through the Better Bus Stops program.


"Living Room Station" Schedule of Events

> Friday, Oct. 23 – Singing in the Rain: music and umbrella escort from the station to the bus   

> Monday, Oct. 26 – Pumpkin Carving: decorate the Living Room for the holidays!

> Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Family Game Night: board games while you wait for the bus

> Wednesday, Oct. 28 –Singing in the Rain: music and umbrella escort from the station to the bus 

> Thursday, Oct. 29 – House Party: Live accordion, free apple cider and a good time

> Friday, Oct. 30 – Trick or Treat at Living Room Station!


    > DID: Living Room Station offers activities, new environment

    > Star Tribune: Temporary downtown Mpls. bus shelter offers the comfort of home

    > Smaller shelter shown off at State Fair

    > On West Broadway, shelters get a steward


Photo: Free cards and flowers were provided at "Living Room Station" on Wednesday, Oct. 21. View more photos courtesy The Musicant Group here

Community METRO Green Line Minneapolis St. Paul

At one-year mark, Green Line going strong 

| Monday, June 15, 2015 5:09:00 PM

Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb at Central Station, celebrating the Green Line's one-year anniversary.For the last eight months, Aaron Martin has used the METRO Green Line to get to not one but two jobs – one at the Town Hall Brewery in Cedar-Riverside and another at the Oceanaire in downtown Minneapolis.

The ease of his commutes is a near-daily confirmation that he made the right decision moving last fall to an apartment in St. Paul’s Hamline-Midway neighborhood, where he can walk just a few blocks to the Fairview Avenue Station.

“I get frustrated with traffic, so the trains are really a godsend for me,” Martin said as he traveled westbound on his way to work.

Such stories have become commonplace since the Green Line opened a year ago. More than 11.1 million Green Line rides have been taken since light-rail service began on June 14, 2014, and average weekday ridership is nearly 25 percent higher than anticipated.

On Monday, Martin and other customers were invited to celebrate the Green Line's success by wearing Green Line anniversary buttons that can be used to receive discounts at businesses along the corridor (those who didn't receive a button can simply show retailers an image of it). Businesses and local leaders who had high hopes when the Green Line opened also took the day to reflect on how the Green Line has re-shaped the urban landscape. 

Standing alongside business owners and supporters at Central Station, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said he found it hard to believe the Green Line had been in service just a year given how much a part of the city’s character it has become.

He pointed to redevelopment projects in downtown St. Paul and along University Avenue as a testament to the Green Line’s “catalytic” effect and the promise it holds for helping “build on the future of St. Paul.” Around $3 billion in development has occurred or is planned within a half-mile of the Green Line.

General Manager Brian Lamb pointed to the ways the Green Line has expanded cultural and recreational opportunities, such as the new possibility of light-rail themed double-headers featuring the Minnesota Twins and the St. Paul Saints. (Several times this season, the Saints and Twins play home games on the same day, allowing fans to catch action at both transit-friendly ballparks.)

More importantly, though, Lamb said the Green Line has expanded access to opportunities.

A study from the University of Minnesota’s Accessibility Observatory released this week found that workers in St. Paul could, on average, reach over 2,000 more jobs by transit than they could before the Green Line opened. Job accessibility in some areas more than doubled due to the Green Line and improvements in connecting bus routes, the U of M study found.

“The Green Line is about more than rides, it’s about access,” Lamb said.

Though she doesn’t use the Green Line to get to work, St. Paul resident Dana Gehant values her ability to use the Green Line on her daily visits to her mother in Minneapolis. Like Martin, she grew tired of driving and gave up her car in favor of transit. Her hope now is that the Green Line will lead to further light-rail expansion in the region. 

“My only complaint is that it (the Green Line) doesn’t go further,” she said.

    > Mass Transit: Metro Transit has the Twin Cities seeing green

    > Green Line residents are enthusiastic about light rail

    > Connections ground businesses, arts on Green Line corridor

    > Green Line has been magnet for housing development

    > MPR: Green Line success driving transit, business hopes

    > Star Tribune: A year into Green Line, development on University Avenue is still looking to pick up speed

    > Pioneer Press: With Green Line, 2,000 more jobs accessible, study finds

Page 6 of 15 << < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>

Skip footer navigation

CONTACT US
FOLLOW US ON: