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D Line

METRO D Line begins pre-construction survey 

Posted by John Komarek | Tuesday, January 08, 2019 1:46:00 PM


Jared Gazda takes a moment to setup his surveying equipment at the corner of 38th and Chicago in Minneapolis. The information he gathers will aid in station construction, including ADA compliance and drainage. 

Before the first shovel breaks ground, there’s a lot of work that goes into any new METRO Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line.

From planning through final engineering, each step ensures that the line is built to specification. Beginning this month, the METRO D Line is entering the engineering phase. During this phase, stations and other improvements will be designed and translated into detailed construction plans.

As a first step in designing D Line stations, Metro Transit has contracted with several firms to assist with field survey. Starting on January 7, crews from Stonebrooke Engineering began surveying planned METRO D Line station locations.

During this phase, surveyors gather information at the ground level, to create accurate measurements and learn more about the existing space and utilities below the ground at future D Line stops to help designers and construction crews avoid foreseeable problems before construction.

Over the next few weeks you will see trucks and members of our project team in the area conducting field surveys and making field observations and measurements to help engineer and design the project.

If you see a surveyor on the job, thank them for their hard work to help bring fast, frequent service to your corridor. If you have questions about the D Line or survey activities, contact Cody Olson, Community Outreach Coordinator at cody.olson@metrotransit.org or 612-349-7390.

The D Line is currently set to begin construction as early as mid-2020, pending full funding for the project. The D Line will substantially replace Route 5, the highest-ridership bus route in the state of Minnesota. Customers take about 16,000 daily rides on Route 5 between Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Bloomington.

To get the latest D Line news, subscribe to our newsletter.

Light Rail METRO Blue Line METRO Green Line

Plastic seats being tested on some light rail vehicles 

Posted by Laura Baenen | Tuesday, January 08, 2019 10:21:00 AM

Responding to customer feedback, Metro Transit is trying something new on some Blue Line trains – plastic seats. 

Technicians put plastic seats in the upper seating area of a Blue Line train a few months ago and plan to install them in the same area of several additional trains in the coming months. 

The seating is being swapped out to get a better idea of whether customers prefer plastic to the cloth that is now used across the fleet.

 “The hope is to generate customer feedback and to test the plastic seats for durability and ease of maintenance to help us make an informed decision on whether to potentially pursue a cloth-free option,” said Ryan McTeague, director of light rail vehicle maintenance. 

Customer Relations Manager Pam Steffen said customers frequently suggest plastic seats.

Plastic seats may also be easier to maintain. To sanitize cloth seats, cleaners must remove them, steam them and wait a day for them to dry before reinstalling them.

Crews replaced all the seats on six Green Line vehicles a few months ago. Thousands of seats have been replaced over the past several years. 

In addition to the plastic seats, light rail vehicle maintenance is testing a new fabric with a protective coating that is expected to be more durable and do a better job of keeping the foam underneath it dry. 

Electro-Mechanical Technician Chris Kostohris recently installed new plastic seats on a light rail vehicle at the Blue Line Operations & Maintenance Facility in Minneapolis.

To comment on the plastic seats or the new fabric seats with protective coating, please contact Customer Relations

Star Tribune: Metro Transit testing plastic seats on light rail vehicles

E Line

METRO E Line open houses, surveys provide meaningful feedback 

Posted by John Komarek | Monday, January 07, 2019 10:25:00 AM

The proposed METRO E Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is planned to run between downtown Minneapolis and Lake Street.

Where it goes from there, however, is still being decided. It could connect with the Green Line extension, or it could travel further south. It could connect the U of M to downtown and south Minneapolis.

“We’re dedicated to finding out what will make BRT work best in the communities it serves,” Supervisor of Public Involvement Sophia Ginis said. “An important step in that process is getting community feedback.”

At two open houses in the affected corridors and in an online survey, community members provided feedback for a route that would serve than 118,000 people  in Minneapolis and Edina.

More than 550 transit users and community members responded with 90 percent of the online survey responders representing regular riders and 75 percent of them who live or work in the corridor.

Online and in-person feedback supported a northbound routing along 4th Street and University Avenue SE that serves the University of Minnesota with numbers between 80-100 percent in favor.

"Extending the E Line is incredibly important to our neighborhood because of the significant population increase in Marcy-Holmes over the past decade,” Chris Lautenschlager, Executive Director of the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association said. “These new residents—as well as the long-time residents that have lived here for decades—want the convenience that the E Line offers."

Southbound, respondents favored a terminus at the Southdale Mall, however, they were split on which road should take them there: France Avenue, Xerxes Avenue, or a combination of both.

Metro Transit will continue evaluating potential E Line routing options, including ongoing public outreach and engagement, throughout 2019. A final recommendation is planned for fall of 2019.

Reflecting on a year of remarkable achievements 

Posted by Drew Kerr | Thursday, December 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM

From General Manager Brian Lamb

At the beginning of 2018, we were preparing to deliver the most transit-dependent Super Bowl in the event’s history. And that’s what we did, providing hundreds of thousands of extra rides on our way to setting monthly ridership records on each of our rail lines. 

The success we found early in the year is among the top highlights of the past year. But it is but one of many accomplishments that should be celebrated as we look back at the last 12 months.

Other remarkable achievements include:

 > Continuing to deliver reliable service on Interstate 35W amid one of the largest and most impactful road construction projects in state history.

 > Introducing new limited stop service on St. Paul’s East Side, boosting average weekday ridership on Route 54 by about 1,000 rides.

> Completing a three-year effort to replace 12,000 bus stop signs across the region, providing customers the information they need to make informed choices.

> Breaking ground on a long-awaited, $25 million overhaul of the Mall of America Transit Station.

> Providing 83,500 rides to and from the Minnesota State Fair on Labor Day, setting a new single-day record.

> Surpassing the 1 million mile mark on our original fleet of light rail vehicles. 

> Launching a bus operator apprentice program to support our newest operators during their first year on the job.

> Expanding the Transit Assistance Program, which allows eligible customers to ride any time for $1 (participants took more than 1 million rides in less than a year).  

> Building consensus around a bus operator barrier that will be installed on up to 600 buses in the future.

> Installing around two dozen new bus waiting shelters, part of an ongoing effort to expand and improve our shelter network.

Amidst all this work, we also renewed our focus on recruiting bus operators, reaching further into the community to form partnerships and finding new ways of to support applicants. 

The year will also be remembered for setting the stage for what may be the most ambitious period in our organization’s history.

In December, we learned that construction costs for the METRO Green Line Extension would be eligible for federal reimbursement pending a Full Funding Grant Agreement. We also secured the funding we'd sought to build the METRO Orange Line and bring Bus Rapid Transit Service to I-35W. Work on each of these projects will be underway next year.

With stations built and buses on their way, we’re also poised to open our region’s second urban Bus Rapid Transit line, the C Line, and to put our first electric buses into service. 

Thank you for riding with us, challenging us to do better and making 2018 another remarkable year. We look forward to serving you in 2019. 

Safety Transit Police

New transit police officers speak many languages, share desire to be role models 

Posted by Laura Baenen | Friday, December 21, 2018 11:15:00 AM

Growing up in Cambodia, Soonem Teng’s family fled their home several times to escape raids by the Khmer Rouge.

That experience helped point Teng toward a career in law enforcement. On Thursday, he was among 16 new officers sworn in by the Metro Transit Police Department. 

“As a kid, I always wanted someone to step up and help,” Teng said. “Now I want to be that person for others.”

Teng’s experience was not uncommon among his peers. Several of the department’s new officers grew up during warfare in faraway lands, became refugees and were befriended at some point by police officers.

In addition to Teng, who speaks Cambodian, the new group includes officers who speak Burmese, Chinese, Somali, Spanish, American Sign Language and Igbo, a West African language.

Ahmed Dualeh was born in Somalia while the country was in the throes of a civil war, an experience that led him to see police as peace keepers. Dualeh’s outlook has also been formed by his time at a Ramsey County Corrections Officer.

As a police officer, he hopes to be a positive force before troubles mount. “I can talk to younger people and help them by being a role model,” he said.

The prospect of becoming a role model also appeals to Peter Wameng Yang, who is fluent in Hmong. “Becoming a role model to the Hmong population and teaching the community about the Hmong culture is a goal I set many years ago,” he said. “I am getting a step closer.”

The new group of officers also includes former security guards, volunteer police reservists, military veterans and Community Service Officers.

The department gained its first sibling duo, too. Kevin McCabe’s older brother, Pat McCabe, has been with the department since 2014.

With the additional officers, the Metro Transit Police Department now has 101 full-time officers and 59 part-time officers. The new group was brought in partly to support the C Line, a Bus Rapid Transit service replacing Route 19 in 2019.

Before Thursday’s swearing in ceremony, the recruits completed the department’s custom, 10-week academy and spent another four months working alongside field training officers.

Metro Transit police officers can respond to calls from throughout the seven-county region but primarily focus on patrolling the transit network.

 

Metro Transit Police Department Swearing in Ceremony

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