Wednesday, November 25, 2009

SouthWest Transit Demo of VanHool TD925 Double Deck

Front Right side view

Rear Right Side View

Drivers Compartment

Lower level

Upper Level Facing Front

Upper Level Facing to Rear

Rear Stairwell

SouthWest Transit Demo of VanHool TD925 Double Deck Intercity Coach at SouthWest Station in Eden Prairie, Mn. Doing Routes 698A and 690U

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Northstar Commuter Rail Schedule Change


MINNEAPOLIS – (Nov. 24) – Metro Transit today announced minor changes to the weekday schedule of Northstar commuter rail trains and said it would add a special-event train to take Vikings fans home after Sunday’s game against the Bears.
Beginning Monday (Nov. 30), trains leaving downtown Minneapolis on weekdays will depart five minutes later than originally scheduled, the agency said. New departure times are 3:55 p.m., 4:25 p.m., 4:55 p.m., 5:25 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. The morning reverse commute trip also will leave five minutes later at 6:10 a.m.
“Customers told us that it was too much of a rush to leave their jobs and make it comfortably to departing trains in the 20 minutes we budgeted to travel from the core of downtown to Target Field Station,” said Adam Harrington, assistant director of route and system planning. “The extra five minutes will give customers a reliable connection to their homebound trains.”
Based on its early experience, Metro Transit also is changing some travel times between stations for all weekday trips leaving downtown. Travel time from Target Field Station to Fridley Station will be reduced by two minutes while travel time between Elk River Station and Big Lake Station will be increased by two minutes, keeping the end-to-end running time at 51 minutes.
Because the kickoff time for Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game has been changed to 3:15 p.m., Metro Transit will add a special Northstar train to take fans home after the game.
The train will leave Target Field Station at 7:20 p.m. Normal weekend fares apply.
Northstar service to the Vikings-Bears game will be accommodated by the regular Sunday train schedule with an arrival at Target Field Station scheduled at 1:45 p.m. An earlier Sunday train arrives at Target Field Station at 11:20 a.m.
Northstar customers traveling between Target Field Station and the Metrodome can use the Hiawatha light-rail line.
For information on fares, schedules and transfers, customers can visit or talk with a transit professional at 612-373-3333.

Monday, November 23, 2009

MPR interview with Peter Bell

Another step forward in Twin Cities transit
Broadcast: Midday, 11/16/2009, 11:00 a.m.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Southwest is Testing Double Decker Bus Again

It's Back!
11/20/2009 1:56 PM
Beginning Friday, November 20 and continuing through next Wednesday, November 25, SouthWest Transit is testing a double decker bus built by Van Hool NV, on some of its regular routes. The double decker bus will be used on two or three morning routes and one afternoon route each day between Friday and Wednesday.
One year ago SouthWest Transit tested a double decker bus from a different manufacturer and used a similar bus as part of its fleet to take people to and from the Minnesota State Fair.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maple Grove Transit Contract Extension

The City of Maple Grove will renew a agreement with Metro Transit to operate Maple Grove Transit. The Maple Grove service agreement covers three years for an estimated gross revenue per year of $2,758,000 for 2010, $2,813,000 for 2011 and $2,869,000 for 2012 for a total estimated gross revenue of $8,440,000.

The city of Maple Grove has contracted service with Metro Transit since January 1990. This three-year agreement with the City of Maple Grove is for the service period of January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2012. The agreement is to operate service on routes 780, 781, 782, 783, 784 and 789. The agreement includes contracted rates for 40-foot, articulated and coach buses. This will go to the Metropolitan Council Transportation Committee on Monday, November 23, 2009.

Holiday Service

Reduced service on the day after Thanksgiving
Due to decreased demand, most Metro Transit routes will follow SATURDAY schedules on the day after Thanksgiving (Friday, Nov. 27). Saturday fares will be charged – there will be no rush-hour charges (except for some suburban providers). Weekday fares will be charged on Northstar trains.
The Metropolitan Transit Information Center will be open regular hours (6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.) on Nov. 27. The Minneapolis and St. Paul transit stores will be open from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Customer Relations and Lost & Found will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
All routes will follow SATURDAY schedules unless listed below. Some routes will operate trips in addition the normal Saturday schedule. If your route does not have a schedule for Saturday service and is not listed here, it will not operate on Nov. 27.
Note: Metro Transit buses and light-rail trains will follow Sunday/Holiday schedules on Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, Nov. 26). There is no Northstar service on Thanksgiving. Metro Transit stores, Customer Relations, Lost & Found and the Metropolitan Transit Information Center will be closed.
Jump down to:
Minnesota Valley Transit Authority
Maple Grove Transit
Plymouth Metrolink

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

No wi-fi on Northstar Commuter rail line?

Should Northstar Commuter Rail have Wi-Fi? Have your voice heard on my poll

MVTA Newsletter

Minnesota Valley Transit Authority News That Travels

Monday, November 16, 2009

New Look

Southwest Transit has a new look on their website.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Northstar Commuter Rail Celebration

I was not able to attend any of the celebration. Found this on You Tube

WCCO report on celebration

Star Tribune Roadguy Northstar's free-ride extravaganza

Star Tribune report: Northstar Line: Will we make the switch?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Transit improvement projects

Transit improvement projects = more choices for you

The reconstruction of Marquette and 2nd avenues in downtown Minneapolis is one of several transit improvement projects funded through the Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA), a federal-state partnership that aims to reduce traffic congestion by providing commuters more choices.

Here are more UPA projects to watch for:

  • I-35W & County Road C Park & Ride – Roseville
    Metro Transit in December will open a 460-space, four-level parking ramp just east of I-35W at County Road C and Cleveland Avenue North.
    Park for free in this ramp for direct service to downtown Minneapolis on new Route 264, which begins on Dec. 14. The new route will offer seven morning trips to downtown and eight return trips.
  • 95th Avenue Park & Ride – Blaine
    In mid-November, look for the opening of a new 550-space ramp at the 95th Avenue Park & Ride in Blaine. This ramp offers frequent express service to downtown Minneapolis, with buses leaving every 7 to 10 minutes during rush hour. Also, direct service to U of M is available from this site.
  • New technology means faster trips
    Starting in mid-December, specially equipped buses will communicate with an approaching traffic signal and ask it to hold the green light for the bus, keeping your bus moving. Transit signal priority systems have been installed at 27 intersections on Central Avenue in Columbia Heights and Minneapolis for Routes 10, 118 and 829.
  • Freeway information signs
    Also in mid-December, real-time electronic commuter information signs are planned at select locations along the I-35W corridor to alert motorists about the estimated travel time to downtown for trips by auto and bus, and how many parking spots are still available at nearby Park & Ride lots.

New Paking Rmp At 95th Ave Park-N-Ride


BLAINE – (Nov. 9) – A three-level ramp at the park-and-ride lot at I-35W and 95th Avenue in Blaine opened today, giving commuters in the north metro more spaces to park their cars for free and take a bus.
The $6.5 million project was funded by the Urban Partnership Agreement, a federal/state project aimed at reducing traffic congestion.
With the addition of the ramp, there are now 1,500 parking spaces at the facility. The ramp was built to expand capacity at the surface lot.
Amenities to make taking transit more convenient will be added soon, said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb.
“In the weeks ahead, we’ll be installing NexTrip signs that will give real-time updates on bus departures,” he said. “In addition, freeway information signs located nearby will show the number of available parking spots at the park-and-ride and the estimated travel time to downtown Minneapolis for trips by auto and bus.”
Three bus routes serve the park-and-ride. Customers can ride Route 250 nonstop to downtown Minneapolis, Route 252 for nonstop service to the University of Minnesota and Route 262 to downtown St. Paul.
Knutson Construction Service, Inc., was contractor for the ramp project.
Metro Transit is a service of the Metropolitan Council. In 2008, customers boarded its buses and trains nearly 82 million times, the highest annual ridership in 27 years.