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E Line

This December, the E Line seeks community input 

Posted by johnkomarek | Wednesday, November 14, 2018 1:38:00 PM

 

Help us choose the E Line’s route. 

Metro Transit is expanding our network of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines that offer fast, frequent bus service.

The proposed E Line BRT has a set course that runs along Hennepin between Washington Avenue in downtown Minneapolis to West Lake Street in Uptown.

Where it goes from there, however, is still being decided. On the north end, it could run along 4th Street and University Avenue to the University of Minnesota. To the south, it could run to the METRO Green Line, destinations in south Minneapolis and Edina or the Southdale Transit Center.

At open houses starting this December, we’re asking community members to talk to us about the routing options and ask us questions about the project.

Join us for our first two open houses this December from 4:30-6:30pm.

>  Monday, Dec. 10, at the Pershing Rec Center, Multipurpose Room
>  Thursday, Dec. 13, at the Marcy Open School, Media Room

Those unable to attend an open house can share their thoughts in the online survey. You can also follow the project by signing up for updates.

Already interested? Join the Community Advisory Committee.

If you’re interested in serving on a committee that will be influential in the E Line’s implementation, we’re still accepting applications for the Corridor Study Community Advisory Committee. Applications are accepted through December 20.

What’s BRT? Here’s some facts about the service:

>  The hallmark of BRT service is the ability to pay before boarding and all-day, frequent service

 > With ticketing on the platform, BRT lines eliminate a bottleneck when boarding. Now that there’s no need to pay a fare at the front door, customers can use the back doors to board, too. 

>  A real transit advantage of BRT is that the buses can “talk” to traffic lights. As a bus approaches, a traffic light knows to safely change signals to favor the bus route.

>  BRT stations provide customers with real-time information, so you’ll always know when the next bus is coming. These stations also have heat, security cameras, and snow removal services.

Know Your Operator

Know Your Operator: Duane Moore 

Posted by johnkomarek | Saturday, November 10, 2018 1:51:00 PM

Duane Moore #9045 drives four and six wheels for work, but he rides two wheels everywhere else.Twenty-eight years ago, Duane Moore decided he wanted to upgrade his career.

As a young man working at a local grocery store, he had had enough of working long hours on his feet all day.

He came across an advertisement for drivers at Metro Transit and chose to apply. Today, he’s a Garage Instructor, but like some other applicants, he didn’t pass the course the first time around.

“A lot of people don’t understand that it’s not easy to get this job,” Moore said. “The process is important. It’s how we make sure there’s qualified operators on the road.”

He took not passing the first round in stride and came back ready to prove he was qualified. It’s one of many lessons he can teach the next generation of operators as they take their first routes.

“When I started, the buses didn’t even have power steering,” Moore said. “Even then, I enjoyed being the captain on board a big bus.”

He’s had plenty of experience and new operators will notice his arm replete with 25-plus years of service awards.

“Every five years, you gain a lot from experience on the road,” Moore said. “Some things you learn in a classroom, others from your co-workers, and others from experience.”

In the classroom, he tailors his lessons to help meet the needs of each operator. He finds they all have different strengths and different questions.

After 28 years of service and counting, Moore still finds himself thinking, “This job is worth it.”

Operator at a Glance: Duane Moore

  • Hired: 1990
  • Routes: Serves various routes as an extraboard operator
  • Garage: Heywood
  • Family: Wife and three children. The kids have moved out, but if you ask him, his German Shepard named “King” is now his stay-at-home kid.
  • Lives: Minneapolis

Hobbies: Motorcycling, boating, traveling and being with family.

Accomplishment: 25 year (and counting) safe operator

Memorable trip: 1,200 miles roundtrip on his Indian motorcycle to the National Biker Roundup in Springfield, Ill., to celebrate with 90,000 other riders.

Best Advice: No matter what happens, remember to take it slow and take it easy.

Recognizing Metro Transit Veterans 

Posted by johnkomarek | Friday, November 09, 2018 10:23:00 AM

Metro Transit's employees are service-oriented. As such, many have joined us after a term of service in the armed forces or are still serving.

The Metropolitan Council employs nearly 400 veterans, including several Metro Transit police officers, technicians and operators. This Veterans Day, we thank them not only for their service to our riders, but to our country. 


Officer Juan C. Peralta

Years with transit: 4
Service branch:  Army
Years of service:  21

Peralta has had five deployments, including Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan (twice) and the Caribbean.
 

Sergeant Erin Dietz

Years with transit: 9
Service branch: Air Force
Years of service:  8

Dietz was stationed at the 119th Fighter Wing in Fargo, ND.  She served as a training supervisor for the Services Unit and crossed trained as Military Police.

 

Darryl Hall, Service Garage Supervisor

Years with transit: 14
Service Branch: Navy
Years of Service: 20

Hall served on the USS Canopus Submarine Tender, USS Saipan, and on Landing Craft Utility 1665. He was deployed in Panama, Japan, Port Hueneme California, and the Persian Gulf. He has traveled around the world twice though the Suez Canal.

David Sommerhauser, Rail Supervisor

Years with transit: 5
Service branch: Coast Guard
Years of service:  15

Sommerhauser’s main duties were boat operator, law enforcement, counter-terrorism, and search and rescue. He was stationed in south Florida, New Orleans, and Chicago. He also had several deployments, including the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.

Did you know? 

Disabled veterans can ride free by showing a Veteran's Identification Card issued by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs with the words "Service Connected" or "SC" below the photo. Call 612-467-1991 or visit the VA website for details. 

Winter Weather

Winter is coming … and Metro Transit is prepared. 

Posted by johnkomarek | Monday, November 05, 2018 3:14:00 PM

Metro Transit received four new service trucks earlier this year, including this truck at East Metro Garage. The vehicles become critical during the winter months, when technicians are sent out to recover buses that become trapped in the snow.

Anyone who lived through the Halloween Blizzard of 1991 knows that winters in Minnesota can come unexpectedly.

Metro Transit starts winterization earlier than one might expect: immediately following the end of the State Fair.

“Boy, oh boy, do we have our work cut out for us.” Paul Slesar, Heywood Service Garage Supervisor said. “We have a hard deadline in October to make sure that our buses are ready for winter.”

In a seven-county system with bus, rail, support vehicles, and stations and stops, the process of winterizing is slow and methodical, but requires a herculean effort on the part of Metro Transit employees.

At our five garages, our almost 1000 bus fleet begins the process of installing snow tires, adding 40-pound sandbags over the rear wheels, and testing the heating systems.  The fuel is also gradually changed to a mix of diesel with a thicker viscosity to handle extreme cold.

“When the weather is at its worst, that’s when we get the most calls.” Ryan Shimon, East Metro Garage Supervisor said. “No matter how deep the snow, we get to our buses and get them unstuck.”

To support our bus fleet in the snow, around 280 Mechanic Technicians prepare for increased duty on road calls. Some will ride in one of four brand new service vehicles, which have needed an update as some are decades old.

"Due to our extreme cold we're often looking for new technologies to improve reliability and on-time performance,” Director of Bus Maintenance Matthew Dake said. “It can range from different types of lubrication to a new way to get unstuck from the snow.”

Currently, two buses are testing a system called Insta-Chain to see if this could help buses drive themselves out of snowy situations. The device drops and spins metal chains under the wheel after an operator pushes a button.

Rail also needs to prepare for extreme weather by testing heating, ice scraping and cutting operations, wipers, and sand delivery systems. Sand is applied to the tracks during slippery weather, which increases in the wintertime.

“We fill our sand tanks twice a week during the winter as opposed to once a week during the rest of the year,” Keith Meisinger Light Rail Vehicle Maintenance Supervisor said.

Facilities and non-revenue support our bus and rail services by ensuring that our police have snow tires and our snowblowers are functioning and can clear stations of snow. Fleet trucks are fitted with plows and brine or salt distributors installed to the rear of the vehicle.

Whatever winter weather that awaits us, Metro Transit is ready and hopeful for, as Public Facilities Supervisor Murray Olson said, “light, fluffy white snow. We can move that easy.”

Rider Information

How are trips impacted by Daylight Savings Time? 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, November 01, 2018 1:46:00 PM

When Daylight Savings Time ends on Sunday morning, many people will enjoy an extra hour of sleep. At Metro Transit, though, setting clocks back an hour presents a unique challenge – and some extra work.

To compensate for the time change, rail trips that are scheduled to occur between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4, will operate twice – once according to Daylight Savings Time, and again an hour later. Bus trips that depart at 2 a.m. will also operate twice.

When Daylight Savings Time goes back into effect in March and clocks move ahead one hour, some bus and rail trips that depart around 2 a.m. do not operate.

Operators who work during time changes receive special instructions.

Customers who purchase fares between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. gain an extra hour of transfer time when Daylight Savings Time ends and lose an hour of transfer time when Daylight Savings Time begins. Fares can be used for unlimited rides of the same value for up to 2.5 hours.

The U.S. Department of Transportation manages the country’s time zones and each state’s observance of Daylight Savings Time – a tradition rooted in the rail industry.

Want help planning ahead? Contact the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333. 

Have a question you'd like us to answer? Send an e-mail to ridersalmanac@metrotransit.org.

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