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Good Question

Route, Trip, or Segment? 

Posted by johnkomarek | Monday, November 26, 2018 2:58:00 PM

Transit terminology can at times be difficult to decipher. The terms route, trip and segment are among those that can be confusing. Here's an explanation of how these terms should be used:

Isn’t it just called a trip when I take transit?

Colloquially, a “trip” can mean whenever a rider uses transit to arrive at a destination. This can involve being on a route, trip, and a segment.

What’s the difference and why does it matter?

Each of these terms breaks down our service into a specific unit of measurement we use to describe our service not only to our employees, but also our riders.

When quarterly updates to our service schedules occur, we use these terms to communicate changes.

Duty

Duty is an operator’s work shift. Duty can refer to a route or multiple routes, if an operator works more than one in a day.

E.g. Today, Skip Traffic’s duty is driving the A Line in the morning and the Route 33 in the evening.
 

Route

A Route is the entire service a transit line provides along a corridor throughout the day. This is made up of trips and segments.

E.g. The A Line’s route is from Rosedale Center Station to the 46th Street Station in Minneapolis.

 

Trip

A Trip is the entire list of stop/Station pickups on a route from the start to finish. When looking at a time schedule, it’s all the times listed on one horizontal line.

E.g. The A Line completes a trip is when it travels from Rosedale Center Station to the 46th Street Station in Minneapolis. This trip repeats throughout the day, creating a route.

Segment

A Segment is traveling from one stop/station to the next stop/station on a route during a trip.

E.g. The A Line starts at the Rosedale Center Station and arrives at its next nearest station at Snelling & County Road B.

 

 

On/Off the Clock with Tensaie Umeta  

Posted by johnkomarek | Monday, November 19, 2018 2:58:00 PM

Tensaie Umeta is a Senior Account Specialist at Metro Transit.

Name: Tensaie Umeta (ten-ah-say oom-et-ah)
Lives: Roseville
Job: Senior Account Specialist
Years of service: 10

How did you come to work at Metro Transit and what do you do?

I started as a bus operator in 2008, which helped me understand where and how our service is delivered. Today, I bring that knowledge to my position as a Senior Account Specialist in Sales Operations. In my current role, I help plan, organize and oversee programs for pre-paid transit fares and special event ticket selling operations.

Where are you from originally? Tell us a little bit about your background.

I’m originally from Ethiopia. On three separate occasions, I was captured and intimidated to join the government’s communist party. Facing torture, imprisonment and the threat of death, I fled to Addis, the capital of Ethiopia. When I got to Addis, I was imprisoned again. One of the prison officials knew my oldest brother, and I was released after three days.

A year later, I was given an ultimatum: join the party or face the consequences. I decided to flee the country, walking for several days to the neighboring country of Sudan. After crossing the border, I was taken into a refugee camp and later moved to Khartoum the capital city of Sudan where I joined Doctors Without Borders as an accountant. Two years later, the Sudanese government shot down the plane carrying one of our head administrators. The organization withdraw from Sudan and I had to find a new job.

My next job was with an American organization called Lutheran World Service. A year later the U.S. government granted me asylum and I arrived in the United States in July of 1991 and became a U.S. citizen in 1997.

What do you like the most about your work?

Creating an enjoyable workplace collaborating with co-workers, staying positive and fulfilling customer needs. It’s rewarding when we can help not only our customers, but each other in the office.

What are your favorite activities when you’re “Off the Clock”?

I haven’t forgotten those who are still in Ethiopia. As a founder and board chairman of a non-profit, I help orphaned or abandoned children in Nekemte, Ethiopia, by providing shelter, food, clothing, basic medical care, spiritual education and training. I returned earlier this year and look forward growing this service in the future. 

We are currently expanding and renting a second home. We would eventually like to have a community center and school that serves the children.

Learn more about the Resurrection Orphanage & Center of Nekemte on Facebook

How We Roll

How We Roll: Steve Baisden 

Posted by johnkomarek | Sunday, November 18, 2018 1:15:00 PM

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!

Steve Baisden, Transit Planner, Service Development

How do you get to and from work?

I take transit every day to work. I live in Woodbury, so I take Route 355 from the Woodbury Theatre Park & Ride to downtown Minneapolis, then walk to the Heywood Offices.  The great thing about transit is that I have options, so I can also ride Route 94, Route 351 or the METRO Green Line to meetings in downtown St. Paul. 

For eight years and counting, I have been riding transit almost daily. I started my transit life in Milwaukee and happily continue my ridership in Minnesota.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

My commute is my time to relax, be more mindful and either charge up or wind down for the day. Walking to and from stops helps burn a few calories, too.  It’s great to not deal with the stress of driving in rush hour traffic.  It also saves me money.  Gas and car maintenance can average about $1,500 a year!

Instead of spending more money, not getting exercise, and stressing out, I spend my time reading, listening to podcasts or guided meditation sessions to support overall wellness. 

And you never know who you’ll meet onboard. Recently, I became reacquainted with a friend from college who rides the bus. Now we catch up often.

Why is it important to you to ride transit?

Riding the bus provides a tangible reminder how my job impacts operators and riders.  It gives me time to experience the system and to think about how we can improve the pedestrian infrastructure or on-time performance of a route to adjusting schedule times that improve transfer connections. 

My planning area includes many bus routes from East Metro Garage, so my commute has allowed me to introduce myself to operators and build healthy relationships.  Now we recognize each other at meetings, on other bus routes or at movie theaters!

How do you get around outside of your commute?

I spent most of my teenage years exploring the east side of St. Paul and often rode Routes 63 and 64.  I still use transit during my free time and especially when visiting other cities. 

Currently, I live near two commercial shopping centers and either walk or bike to stores and restaurants.  There’s a sense of freedom having the ability to walk to certain destinations and not be tethered to a vehicle. 

Shelters

New guards designed to help keep the heat on 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, November 16, 2018 5:00:00 PM

When cold weather arrives, customers a grateful for any warmth they can find. But on-demand shelter heaters are frequently vandalized, taking them out of service until they can be repaired. 

A new metal guard beginning to appear at some busy boarding locations could help prevent future damage and keep customers from waiting in the cold. 

The guards were designed by Licensed Journeyman Electrician Jim Davis, above, who sought an alternative to making persistent repairs. Davis and fellow electricians installed the new guards along the Marq2 corridor earlier this year, and began putting them in at select light rail stations this fall. The guards could be used more broadly going forward. Metro Transit maintains about 1,500 heaters systemwide. 

The custom stainless steel guards are being made by Metro Transit technicians.

The new guards have performed well, and Davis said he's hopeful they’ll continue to be successful. "If this isn’t the answer than it’s pretty darn close,” he said this week. 

Remember: Shelter heaters only work when temperatures are below 40 degrees. To report a broken heater, please contact Customer Relations

METRO Green Line Ridership

Green Line continues to see record-breaking ridership 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, November 16, 2018 12:51:00 PM

The Green Line had its busiest month ever in October, keeping the light rail line on pace to set another annual ridership record.

More than 1.4 million rides were taken last month, topping the previous high, set in September, by more than 127,000 rides. October's average weekday ridership was just over 49,000 rides. 

Nearly 11.6 million Green Line rides have been taken through the end of October, a 4.5 percent increase compared to the same time last year. Except for February, monthly ridership records have been set every month this year on the Green Line.

Blue Line ridership has increased nearly 4 percent through the end of October, to nearly 9.4 million rides.

The Blue and Green lines each saw record ridership in 2017.

Light rail ridership has increased in recent months due to special events and ongoing construction on Interstate 35W, which has led more people to use the Blue Line.

A popular pass program also reached a new milestone last month. Metropass customers took nearly 1.2 million rides in October, which is believed to be the highest monthly total since the program began 20 years ago.

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