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Bus Transit Information

Installation of new bus stop signs continues 

| Wednesday, October 14, 2015 11:41:00 AM

A new Metro Transit bus stop sign is installed on Grand Avenue in St. Paul on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015.After a successful pilot, around 2,300 new bus stop signs with enhanced information will be installed this fall.

The new signs include route and unique stop numbers, as well as instructions for accessing real-time predicted departure times through NexTrip. Signs at stops with higher ridership will also include a route map, frequency information (for the trunk of the route) and indicate the direction that buses serving that stop travel.

Installations began earlier this week in St. Paul along routes 63 and 64. Signs will be installed along more than 20 additional routes that serve North Minneapolis and the northwest suburbs in the coming months.

New signs will be installed at all of Metro Transit’s 12,000 bus stops through 2017. Sign installations will be prioritized based on ridership.

Around 100 new signs went up earlier this year in North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park to give customers an opportunity to provide feedback. Some minor design changes were made after the pilot (for example, frequency charts now indicate a range of time instead of using the terms morning, mid-day or evening).

The new signs are part Metro Transit’s broader Better Bus Stops program. With funding from a federal Ladders of Opportunity grant and other resources, more new and replacement waiting shelters will be installed in the coming years. 

    > Star Tribune: Metro Transit adding information at bus stops

    > Better bus stop signs 

    > New bus stop signs introduced

    > NexTrip

 

METRO Green Line

Green Line sets monthly ridership record 

| Wednesday, October 14, 2015 10:11:00 AM

Nearly 1.25 million rides were taken on the METRO Green Line in September, a new high-water mark for the light-rail line.

Average weekday ridership on the Green Line last month was 45,644 -- well ahead of the 41,000 average weekday rides that were forecast for 2030. Prior to September, the Green Line’s highest monthly ridership came in October 2014, when there were 38,597 average weekday rides.

Total Green Line ridership through the end of September was 8.94 million. Ridership on all modes was 64.5 million, a 3 percent increase compared to the first nine months of last year.

September’s strong light-rail ridership can party be attributed to special events. More than 193,000 light-rail rides were taken to home sporting events last month.

Single-day ridership on the Green and Blue lines topped 100,000 for the first time ever on Thursday, Sept. 3, when the St. Paul Saints, Twins and Gophers each played at home. Total ridership on that date was 355,665. 

Average weekday ridership on all modes in September was 302,669, the highest monthly average since at least January 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    > Video: Green Line anniversary

    > Single-day LRT ridership tops 100K for the first time

Light Rail METRO Blue Line METRO Green Line

Single-day LRT ridership tops 100K for first time 

| Monday, September 21, 2015 2:29:00 PM

Single-day ridership on the METRO Green and Blue lines recently topped 100,000 for the first time ever.

The milestone came on Thursday, Sept. 3, when there were a combined 100,909 light-rail rides. Nearly 64,000 rides were provided on the Green Line that day, while almost 37,000 rides were provided on the Blue Line.

Nearly a quarter of the rides taken were attributed to fans traveling to a St. Paul Saints, Minnesota Gophers football or Minnesota Twins game.

Event ridership has been strong on both the Green and Blue lines this year.

Saints fans took an estimated 52,990 Green Line rides to home games at CHS Field this season, an average of 981 rides per game. Through the end of August, Twins fans had taken nearly 512,000 rides, a 14 percent increase over last year.

    > State Fair ridership reaches new high

    > Blue, Green lines top 1 million rides in July

    > East Bank Station tops 1 million boardings

 

Bus Bus Maintenance Community In the News

Friends turn retired bus into RV, drive across U.S. 

Posted by Kathy Graul | Tuesday, September 15, 2015 2:00:00 PM

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to turn something unconventional into a house? How about a Metro Transit bus? That's exactly what a couple of friends from the Twin Cities did this summer before embarking on a journey in the retrofitted vehicle to San Francisco.

Kao Choua Vue was laid off earlier this year, and her friend Peter Kane was working on building a new startup business. Kane was also looking for a new place to call home, and he had his eye on the San Francisco Bay Area. Because of the high cost of rentals, he needed an alternative living space.

Kane stumbled upon a Craigslist ad for a retired Metro Transit bus. In June, Kane and Vue went to view it and “immediately fell in love." They purchased the bus from a private owner in St. Cloud and immediately got to work, spending day and night renovating it into a living space. They incorporated two mattresses and one couch, making room for about three people.

Kane and Vue decided on a Hmong name for the bus, Chao Moua, and later they both realized it rhymed with Vue’s name – Kao Choua.

A third friend would ride along with the pair to San Francisco - Tyler Hayes, who happens to be from Oakland, Calif. The group left the Twin Cities in early August.

Their 2,380-mile trip took them from the Twin Cities to Denver to Los Angeles and eventually San Francisco. The bus is now parked in Oakland, not far from Hayes’ home. Vue says that’s handy for taking showers, since the vehicle is not currently equipped to run any water.

“Driving Chao Moua was the best feeling, with a panoramic view of the open road and getting a perfect view of the sunset in the countryside, including the vast star-filled sky,” says Vue. “Almost every vehicle on the road with us would gaze with smiles while passing by Chao Moua. Whenever we gassed up along the way at the truck stops, Chao Moua was always the cool one.”

The bus needed some repairs when they hit Barstow, Calif., and the group was glad to leave the city’s 115-degree weather. But now that they’re settled in the San Francisco area, the bus has been a big hit.

“Nearing San Francisco and in the middle of their traffic, more than 10 drivers commented that we have a sweet ride. They love Chao Moua in San Francisco!” says Vue. “There's no one on the road that we saw that was as unique as Chao Moua and everyone noted that with glee.”

While many retired buses are sold for parts or acquired by private bus companies, others have been used for alternative spaces such as outbuildings, a petting zoo and gardens. Based on regional and federal guidelines, the regular service life of a transit bus is 12 years. To prepare the buses for auction, all ads, logos, the bike rack, the fare box and the equipment for the overhead signs are removed.

 
Bus Ridership State Fair

State Fair ridership reaches new high 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, September 11, 2015 11:37:00 AM

Fairgoers board a Metro Transit State Fair Express Bus at the 2015 State Fair.Metro Transit provided 575,348 rides to and from the 2015 Minnesota State Fair — an 8 percent increase over last year and the highest express and regular route ridership ever.

The ride total accounted for 16 percent of State Fair attendance, which reached 1.8 million. The percentage of fairgoers who traveled to the State Fair on Metro Transit was the highest since 2008, when Metro Transit also operated free shuttles to the fairgrounds. 

The highest single-day ridership to this year's State Fair was on Saturday, Aug. 29, when nearly 70,600 rides were provided. 

Almost 90 percent of State Fair ridership was from the 13 free Park & Ride locations where Metro Transit provided State Fair Express Bus Service. Three regular routes — the 3, 61 and 84 — and Route 960 from downtown Minneapolis also served people traveling to the State Fair.

“Riding the bus to the State Fair has become as much a part of the experience as riding the Ferris wheel or eating a Pronto Pup,” General Manager Brian Lamb said. “We thank all those who traveled with us and look forward to continuing the tradition of giving people a fun, safe and convenient way to celebrate the best our state has to offer.”

Metro Transit staff and operators collectively dedicated nearly 15,000 hours to State Fair service during its 12-day run. As always, all operating costs are covered by fares.

The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority reported an 18 percent increase in State Fair ridership, and SouthWest Transit said it, too, set a new record. 

In addition to express and regular route service, Metro Transit staff connected with fairgoers at the Eco Experience building and at a Grandstand booth that focused on a new arterial Bus Rapid Transit line, the A Line. With service on Snelling Avenue, the A Line will connect with the state fairgrounds in 2016.​

    > A city commute in crop art

    > Smaller shelter shown off at State Fair

 

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