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Rider Information Safety

Safety tips for pub-crawling zombies 

Posted by Marisa Helms | Friday, October 13, 2017 12:20:00 PM

Here's how to have fun and stay undead with Metro Transit during the Zombie Pub Crawl in downtown Minneapolis this Saturday, October 14.

You can join the apocalyptic mob by taking one of Metro Transit's many bus and rail options. And, once you're downtown where the beer and brains are flowing, please remember these tips:

  • > When refreshing fake blood throughout the evening, please keep it on your own flesh and off the streets, buses, rail cars and platforms. Cleaning it up after you’re gone really bites.
     
  • > A couple more notes about the bloody business of being a zombie: If we see zombie blood on a transit vehicle, we may have to suspend service, and therefore delay the undead from the festivities. Nobody wants that. And, here's a thought: Why not buy an All-Day Pass via Metro Transit's zombie-friendly app? This will keep your bloody hands off the ticket machines.
     
  • > As the zombie in you shuffles and moans through the streets of downtown, make sure to stay clear of the light rail tracks and only use pedestrian crossings.
     
  • > No brain stealing at bus stops and rail platforms. Zombie horseplay at bus stops and on the platform is dangerous - especially near moving trains.

Have fun and stay undead!

How We Roll

How We Roll: Charles Carlson 

Posted by Marisa Helms | Tuesday, October 10, 2017 11:29:00 AM

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 are a chance to illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Charles Carlson, Senior Manager, Bus Rapid Transit/Small Starts Project Office

How do you get to work?

I’m a dedicated transit rider. Last year, I logged more than 650 bus and train rides, mostly on the METRO Blue Line. My wife and I bought a house near the Blue Line’s 46th Street Station about 11 years ago because we wanted walkable and green areas nearby and wanted to live near light rail.

Thanks to the convenience of the Blue Line, about four years ago we started sharing just one car. My work often brings me to downtown St. Paul, so I’m able to take the A Line to Route 53 or the Green Line.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?

My favorite part of my commute is that every member of my team also rides transit. In fact, frequently, several of us will ride the same train trip home. This is a wonderful way to unwind from the workday and to connect on a range of topics, as co-workers and as friends.

Riding transit also provides a continuous reminder of the projects and improvements we help implement in the Bus Rapid Transit/Small Starts Project Office. As project managers, planners and engineers, firsthand experience gives us critical insight into how to remove delay, meet our customers’ travel needs, and help our operators deliver top-notch service.

How do you get around outside of your commute?

We live by a great commercial node on 34th Avenue in Minneapolis. This makes it easy for my family and I to walk or bike to locally-owned neighborhood stores and restaurants. My two kids (6, 8) have always enjoyed transit because they don’t need to be strapped into bulky car seats for a safe ride.

This year, we bought a 100 percent electric car. My wife drives it to work every day and we use it for errands. We still have our older car, but it’s now “retired.” Now, we use it for our family camping trips around Minnesota.

A Line BRT Bus Light Rail METRO Green Line

Dorothy’s last ride 

Posted by Kathy Graul | Tuesday, October 03, 2017 8:49:00 AM

William Carter III took his mother Dorothy on one final ride to celebrate her life and the independence public transportation afforded her.Dorothy Carter was fiercely independent. But she never had a driver’s license and never drove a car. For all 94 years of her life, she took public transportation.

“It was her way to stay independent. To do what she wanted to do, when she wanted to do it and not be bound by anybody’s schedule or feel like she was imposing,” said Dorothy’s son, William Carter III.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, William took his mother Dorothy on one final ride to celebrate her life and the independence transit afforded her.

“I’m just riding all day. We’re taking a farewell tour,” said William as he boarded a westbound Green Line train at Snelling Avenue Station.

“It’s been quite a ride for her,” William said.

With a sign and an urn containing Dorothy’s remains in tow, William boarded several bus routes, the METRO Green Line and the A Line to visit some of his mother’s regular destinations throughout the day.

“Walgreen’s on Snelling. Rosedale Mall. Korte’s. We might stop by Plums for some French onion soup that she liked. I plan on stopping by her doctor’s office, too,” he said.

A resident of the Highland Park neighborhood, Dorothy knew the St. Paul bus routes like the back of her hand. Macy’s in downtown St. Paul was a favorite destination prior to its closing. But she would also take transit across town on occasion. She once took transit from St. Paul to Southdale in Edina to accompany a visually impaired friend (who also did not drive) for a doctor’s appointment.

As a longtime Twin Cities resident, Dorothy always intentionally chose to live near access to transit, and she witnessed firsthand the vast changes in public transportation from the streetcar days to the opening of the METRO Green Line.

In recent years, when Dorothy was no longer able to take transit on her own, she started using Metro Mobility to get to doctor’s appointments, lunches with friends and shopping, up until a few months before she died.

“She’d call and say ‘I took Metro Mobility to the doctor today. And we had the nicest driver and the nicest tour, and I met the nicest person on the bus.’” William said. “She was just very appreciative of everything that was going on.”

She instilled that appreciative attitude and her belief in the importance of transit in her son, an only child.

“She taught me how to sew. How to iron. And how to take the bus,” William said. By the time William was in the fourth grade, Dorothy would send him on the bus on his own to start learning the routes.

“So that’s why I’m doing it. To show appreciation for teaching me the independence of not only how to ride the bus but the importance of it,” William said. “It’s just one final tour to thank her for all the skills she taught me about riding the bus.”

Dorothy's last ride

C Line Minneapolis Rapid Bus Network

Region's second rapid bus line moves forward 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Friday, September 29, 2017 9:16:00 AM

The region's second rapid bus line, serving downtown and North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, is moving forward.  

The Metropolitan Council on Wednesday approved a budget amendment that brings the total amount of funding committed to stations and other improvements for the C Line to $20 million. The budget is a combination of federal transportation money and Council bonds.

“Securing funding for the C Line is an important milestone for this critical project, which will improve the experience for thousands of residents who rely on transit to access opportunity,” Council Member Gary Cunningham said. 

The action follows a recent announcement of a $1.75 million Federal Transit Authority grant that will help secure at least six battery electric buses​ for the C Line. The C Line fleet will include at least 12 60-foot buses. The project’s base fleet is funded and the Council is looking for ways to secure additional battery electric buses and related charging equipment.

The C Line is on track to be under construction in 2018 and to open in 2019.

C Line buses will operate between downtown Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center, largely replacing local bus service on Route 19. Like the region’s first rapid bus line, the A Line, customers will enjoy faster, more frequent service and enhanced stations.

A 60-foot articulated bus that looks like a rapid bus is currently simulating service in the C Line corridor to help planners create a new schedule (customers cannot board the bus). C Line service is expected to be at least six minutes faster than existing local bus service. 

Bus Fares

Why are Metro Transit's fares going up?  

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, September 28, 2017 4:00:00 PM

Metro Transit's fare increase will take effect on Oct. 1Metro Transit’s first fare change in nearly a decade takes effect on Sunday, Oct. 1, and that’s raised several questions among customers. Here are answers to a few of the most frequently asked questions and comments that we’ve received.

Why are fares going up?

Fares have remained static for the past decade. But the past 10 years have also brought inflation and other factors that have lead operating costs to rise. As a result, fares now account for less than a third of Metro Transit's bus operating costs, a share that is common across the transit industry. The amount of money coming from the motor vehicle sales tax, a primary source of transit funding, is also falling short of expectations. 

The transit system has  steadily improved, too, with more light rail, rapid bus and High Frequency service and new waiting shelters, bus stop signs and real-time displays across the region. Maintaining buses, trains and facilities has become increasingly important, and costly, as the system ages. And Metro Transit’s police department has grown to improve safety and security.

Revenue generated by this fare increase will raise a modest amount of funding, about $7 million a year, to help support current operations as Metro Transit continues to pursue future enhancements.

What’s being done to support people who will find it harder to pay?

Fares should never be a barrier for those who rely on transit to access opportunity. To support those most in need, qualified, low-income residents can access discounted, $1 fares through the new Transit Assistance Program. Customers who think they may qualify can learn more and enroll at a Metro Transit Service Center or through one of several partnering organizations. Information is available at metrotransit.org/tap.

Metro Transit also provides significantly-discounted fares for individuals with disabilities, seniors and youth. In many cases, those discounts are more than half the full-priced fare.

Why is the stored value bonus going away?

Customers who put money on a Go-To Card will retain any stored value that was automatically added to their cards after October 1. This modest incentive -- $1 in added value for every $10 put on a Go-To Card -- was offered in part to encourage customers to consider using fare cards when they were introduced a decade ago. Today, nearly two-thirds of customers pay their fares with a Go-To Card.

If everyone who rode transit paid their fare, wouldn’t this increase be unnecessary?

Transit Police have already checked more than 1 million fares this year. Because officers regularly ride trains and buses, and repeat violators can be penalized or trespassed from transit property, instances of fare evasion are incredibly low. The costs associated with increased fare enforcement or limiting access to stations and transit vehicles is also significantly outweighed by the cost of the existing proof of payment system.

Free rides are occasionally provided to large events as a way of introducing potential customers to transit. These free ride offers also bring promotional value that often exceeds the cost of the free rides.

Why isn’t the transfer time being extended to reflect the increased cost?

Allowing customers to take unlimited rides for 2.5 hours on a single fare provides sufficient time to travel to and from almost any destination in the region without having to pay a second fare.

Customers who are taking multiple trips should consider using a pass product instead of purchasing individual fares. A list of passes and their prices as of October 1 is available at metrotransit.org/fare-increase.

Still have questions? Contact our Transit Information Center or Customers Relations Department at 612-373-3333 or visit a Metro Transit Service Center.

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