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Bus Rider Information

New customer information centers added to buses 

| Monday, February 25, 2013 1:00:00 PM

Having information easily available for customers such as bus route schedules, newsletters and service notices is important for both our regular riders and those new to using transit. A new onboard information center brings all transit information together in one convenient, consistent area right behind the bus driver.

All Customer Information in One Place

New customer information centers are a one-stop shop for printed schedules, comment cards, the Connect newsletter and other materials.

 

The pockets along the bottom of the information center will be used for printed schedules and brochures. Connect will be placed in the upper-right hand spot instead of hanging from handrails. Comment cards will be placed in the pocket below Connect and the area with the plexiglass cover will be used for specific customer communications and notices.

Timeline for Customer Information Centers

Today, about 100 buses have the new information centers. Over the next few months, they will be installed on 525 buses, more than half of the Metro Transit's fleet. All new buses will also have the information centers installed when they begin service. By 2016, nearly every bus in the fleet will have an information center.

 

 

 

Bus Good Question Light Rail Rider Information Winter Weather

Good Question: How does Metro Transit prioritize winter storm cleanup? 

| Thursday, February 21, 2013 10:49:00 AM

When winter weather hits, customers often ask us how Metro Transit organizes snow clearance.

photo metro transit bus in snow

 

Prioritizing the Metro Transit To-Do List

With a modest staff and large winter storm workload, snow clearance is prioritized to keep the transit system moving and safe. For a comprehensive description, visit Metro Transit's snow removal web page.

Priority #1 – Operations

  • Clear the way for trains and buses by servicing bus garages, rail yards and support facilities. No one will be moving if our buses and trains are snowed in. 
  • Plow bus roadway at park-and-ride lots and transit centers and areas where buses layover or turn around. If a bus gets stuck, it takes a lot more than a friend to help push it out.
  • If there is a lot of a snow accumulation, plow the light rail track area.
     

Priority #2 – Passenger Movement

  • Clear snow and ice from customer areas with the highest activity including light-rail stations, Northstar stations, transit centers and park-and-ride lots. 
  • In very heavy snowfalls, clearing passenger paths is done in two stages. First, crews will clear walkways to bus loading areas and the edges on rail platforms, returning later to complete the work.photo transit center winter
 

Priority #3 – Customers with Limited Mobility

  • Clear snow and ice from customer areas that have high use by limited mobility customers. Metro Transit is able to track this information by reviewing data where those paying fares with limited mobility Go-To Cards are boarding. 
 

Priority #4 – Customer-Waiting Shelters

  • Clear the 700 Metro Transit-owned customer-waiting shelters throughout the seven-county metro area.
  • Remove snow and ice within a 6-foot radius of the Metro Transit-owned shelter.
  • Shovel a 4-foot-wide path from the curb through the plowed snow on the road side to provide a clear path for loading and unloading.
 

Priority #5 – Revisit and Groom

  • Continue to revisit areas to plow, chip ice and shovel out paths from the curb for bus loading and unloading. 
     

Partnerships are Key in Keeping Transit System Moving

 

Park & Rides, Bus Stops and Transit Centers

Not all bus stops and transit facilities are maintained by Metro Transit. Other transit agencies also maintain bus service, bus stops, transit stations and park-and-ride facilities.

Here is contact information for providers other than Metro Transit.

Clearing Sidewalks 

Clearing snow and ice from sidewalks is the responsibility of the property owner adjacent to the sidewalk. Many cities require snow and ice to be removed to bare concrete from back of sidewalk to curb within 24 hours of accumulation.

Each city has it own policy on snow removal:

Bus Shelters

Shelters or benches with advertising on them are not maintained by Metro Transit (except for Marquette & 2nd avenues in downtown Minneapolis). Shelters and benches with advertising are owned by private companies that are responsible for their maintenance. 

photo bus shelter not owned by metro transit   photo metro transit bus shelter
Maintenance of shelters with advertising is not the responsibility of Metro Transit.    Snow clearance and maintenance of Metro Transit shelters are performed by Metro Transit staff.
     

Let Us Know about Winter Cleanup Needs at Metro Transit Facilities

photo of man clearning snow in 1951 in St. Paul

Depending on the severity of winter storms, Metro Transit staff may be required to focus on the first few priorities on our to-do list to ensure that transit operations are maintained. Please be patient as our employees make the rounds to clean up after winter storms and consider conditions following a snowfall that may further hinder cleanup progress, such as freezing rain and drifting snow. 

Metro Transit wants to hear from customers if problems persist at particular locations following a snowfall. Please call Customer relations at 612-373-3333, option 3, or use the use the online contact form. If cleanup is needed at a Metro Transit location, we send crews to address the issue. If the cleanup needed is on property managed by a different municipality, agency or private shelter company, we will pass along the cleanup request.

 

Photo left: Snow is nothing new to our transit system. Pictured left a man clears a sidewalk in front of his business as a streetcar filled with passengers goes by in the background. Photo taken outside St. Pierre Liquor Store, 256 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, 1951. Photo courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society.

 

 

In the News Light Rail METRO Blue Line METRO Green Line Transit Improvements

New light rail vehicles begin service 

| Wednesday, February 20, 2013 10:24:00 AM

photo of new light rail vehicle in minneapolisLast week, two new light rail vehicles (LRVs) began revenue service on the Hiawatha Light Rail Line. Siemens model S70 light-rail vehicles (numbered 201 and 202) were introduced to the Twin Cities in a public ceremony last October and have been tested extensively since that time. Four additional Siemens LRVs are currently undergoing pre-service testing. These six are the first of 59 new LRVs scheduled for delivery over the next several months to operate on the METRO Green Line and for enhanced service on the METRO Blue (Hiawatha) Line. Forty-seven of the new LRVs will operate on the Green Line and twelve will operate on the Blue Line. The new LRV delivery will ultimately provide both lines with enough LRVs to operate three-car trains during peak times and special events to meet growing ridership demands.

 

Photos show the two LRV models side by side. The train in back is the original Bombardier model and the new Siemens model is in front.

photo of new light rail vehicle siemens minneapolis

 

 

 

 

 

More from:

Finance & Commerce New light rail vehicles go into service

 

 

 

Transit Information

My Metro Transit - new customizable web tool 

| Saturday, February 09, 2013 9:52:00 AM

graphic of my metro transit icon

My Metro Transit is a new, customizable transit information center. Like the dashboard in a car, this online dashboard provides transit customers with important travel details at-a-glance.

 


Customizable features on My Metro Transit

 

Image of my metro transit computer dashboard bus
 
 

My Go-To Card – No more re-entering your card's serial number each time you check your balance. Enter the 16-digit number from your card or pass just once and your current balance will be shown as long as you're logged in.

My NexTrips  Customize your dashboard to display your most-used transit stops so you can easily check real-time bus departure times for all Metro Transit buses and most regional buses. Choose your route, direction and stop location  NexTrip will list up to the next 10 buses leaving that stop.

My Trip Plans – Easily plan your trips by saving your starting points and destinations. My Metro Transit adapts easily to your fast-paced life. If your schedule changes, simply adjust your travel times and preferences without having to re-enter information – all in one convenient location.

My Routes – Being up-to-date on your favorite routes has never been easier. Add the routes you ride regularly to your dashboard to learn about any active route detours and to see detailed route maps with just a click.
 


Additional Options

Photo people boarding Metro Transit bus

  • View the latest posts on the Metro Transit's Facebook page.
     
  • Stay current with Metro Transit News & Events.
     
  • Add live MnDOT traffic cameras of your commute route.
     
  • You can also add Metro Transit’s Twitter feed, a custom weather report and sync your Trip Tracker account. Just click the graphic of the icon green with plus sign symbol at the top of the My Metro Transit Manager to view additional dashboard options.

 


What Do You Think?

Photo person using My Metro Transit on laptopMy Metro Transit is currently in beta testing which means we are still making improvements and we're looking for user feedback.

Please take a moment to tell us what you like about the new My Metro Transit dashboard or what could use improvement. Submit your comments by clicking the image of icon envelope and letter symbol on the top of the dashboard next to the word beta

We're creating a version of My Metro Transit formatted for mobile devices and soon you'll be able to subscribe through My Metro Transit to receive emails or text messages about service changes, detours, or alerts on the routes you use regularly.  

 

 

Bus Links of Interest

Is the bus half-full or half-empty? 

| Wednesday, February 06, 2013 1:46:00 PM

The Pinellas County Suncoast Transit Authority, of St. Petersburg, Fla., has developed a video that addresses the questions people frequently ask transit agencies  including Metro Transit  about "empty buses" and the use of smaller transit vehicles.

Check out "Bus Buzz Episode 2."

> StreetsBlog: Empty Buses Serve a Purpose

 

 

In the News Ridership

Thanks for riding with us in 2012 

| Monday, February 04, 2013 10:41:00 AM

Customers boarded Metro Transit buses and trains more than 81 million times in 2012 for only the second time in three decades. 

Ridership on the Hiawatha light-rail line was the highest ever at 10.5 million.

Thanks for riding with us in 2012 – we look forward to continuing to serve you in 2013.

More from:

Pioneer PressMetro Transit rail, bus ridership topped 81 million trips in 2012

St. Cloud TimesNorthstar reports gains in key weekday ridership

Progressive Railroading Metro Transit ridership tops 81 million in 2012

Press release: Metro Transit 2012 ridership tops 81 million

Transit in the Media archives

 

 

 

In the News

30-year vanpooler builds retirement nest egg by sharing the ride  

| Friday, February 01, 2013 3:07:00 PM

Photo vanpool user Charlie StarkNewly-retired Northfield, Minn., resident Charlie Stark vanpooled for nearly 30 years and estimates that he saved more than $500,000 by sharing rides to work. Tim Harlow of the Star Tribune covers the story of how Mr. Stark started his own vanpool and commuted to his job in St. Paul for several years. The story also details the savings Twin Cities commuters build up, savings bolstered by a tax incentive that applies to vanpoolers, transit riders and bicyclists alike.

The photo at right shows Mr. Stark after he was presented a Commuter Choice Award for Lifetime Achievement in November 2012. The annual Commuter Choice Awards recognize individuals, organizations and employers for innovation in getting people to work without adding to traffic congestion.

Learn more about Metro Transit Rideshare and its carpooling and vanpooling resources.

 

 

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