Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Eve Transit Service

Many transit agency around the country offer free transit rides on New Years Eve. Should Metro Transit (Twin Cities) offer free rides on New Years Eve? Vote on Poll

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Poll Results

Should Northstar have Wi-Fi?

Yes - 43 (87%)

No - 3 (6%)

Don't Care - (3 6%)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Gardena Municipal Bus Lines New Flyer GE40LF

Gardena Municipal Bus Lines ( Gardena, CA ). New Flyer GE40LF at 34th Avenue and American Boulevard in Bloomington, MN

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Hiawatha LRT - American Blvd. Station

Hiawatha LRT - American Blvd. Station at 34th Avenue and American Boulevard in Bloomington, MN, opened today to LRT service. It will be the first light-rail station with a split-platform design, with trains bound for Minneapolis stopping north of American Boulevard and Mall-bound trains stopping south of the intersection.

Metro Transit Twinkle Bus

Twinkle Bus, Metro Transit Bus # 2342 - 1994 Gillig Phantom, at the annual Holidazzle Parade on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Transit in the News

2nd Avenue and Marquette Avenue Opens Monday

Speedier Downtown Mpls. Bus Service Starts Monday

Friday, December 4, 2009

SouthWest Transit on YouTube

SouthWest Transit now has a YouTube Channel.

Taking your bike on the bus -- Then and Now

It's easy to Ride SouthWest Transit!

Routes will change on Dec. 12

These routes will change on Dec. 12

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 12, changes will be made to routes operated by Metro Transit and regional transit providers.
This list is an overview of the changes. If your route is listed, please pick up an updated schedule for details. Schedules are available below, on buses and trains and at Metro Transit stores and outlets.
Beginning Dec. 12, if you know your route and just need departure times, call NexTrip at 612-341-4287.
Jump down to:
Minnesota Valley Transit Authority
Maple Grove Transit
Plymouth Metrolink
SouthWest Transit

Marquette and 2nd transit corridor opens in downtown Minneapolis
These routes will travel on the reconstructed Marquette Avenue and 2nd Avenue in downtown Minneapolis:
Metro Transit133, 135, 146, 156, 250, 260, 261, 264, 270, 288, 467, 535, 552, 553, 554, 558, 576, 578, 587, 597, 673, 760, 761, 762, 763, 765, 766, 767, 824, 850, 852, 854, 889
Minnesota Valley Transit Authority460, 464, 465, 470, 472, 476, 477, 478, 479
Maple Grove Transit780, 781, 782, 783, 784
Plymouth Metrolink742, 747, 772, 774, 776, 777, 790, 793, 795
SouthWest Transit680, 684, 685, 690, 691, 697, 698, 699
Schedule times for these routes will be adjusted due to faster bus travel speeds through downtown. Routes will stop every other block. Please pick up a new printed schedule or click
here to see which stops your route will serve on Marquette and 2nd avenues.

Hiawatha LRT - American Boulevard Station

Dedication of the American Boulevard Station will take place at 1:30 PM on Wednesday, Dec. 9, with a ceremony at the new station. A reception will follow at the nearby Holiday Inn.

American Boulevard Station on Hiawatha LRT line will be opening on Dec. 12.

Metro Transit New Cell Phone Policy

Metro Transit has decided to join other major transit agencies to crack down on cell phones/electronic devices while operating bus or train.

The new policy requires that all cell phone/electronic devices (ipods, Bluetooths, and MP3 players} must be turned off and stowed away and not on the operators person when operating the bus or train. First offense the operator get a 20 -day suspension and a final record of warning. Second offence will lead to discharge.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Transit Link

Revamped dial-a-ride services hit the road starting in January

New fares for dial-a-ride services throughout the region will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2010. That’s when the phase-in of restructured, region-wide Transit Link service throughout the seven-county metropolitan area will begin.
The Metropolitan Council approved the fares in November. The fare structure is the final standard operating guideline for the new region-wide dial-a-ride service.

Dial-a-ride service is minibus or van service for members of the general public. It is different from the ADA-certified services provided by Metro Mobility, which serves riders who need additional assistance due to physical, cognitive or psychological limitations. These dial-a-ride changes do not affect ADA transit service.
The new fares are based on the distance traveled. For trips less than 10 miles, passengers will pay $2.25 each way. For trips between 10 and 20 miles, the fare will be $4.50 each way. And for trips greater than 20 miles, riders will pay $6.75 each way. Transfers are free, and discounts are available for group trips. ADA-certified riders pay a maximum of $4.50 per direction, regardless of distance.

  • Restructuring aims to make service equitable
    The restructuring effort, which began in 2008, aimed to deliver dial-a-ride transit services that are equally available to all members of the general public throughout the seven-county metropolitan area where regular route transit service is not available. Dial-a-ride services are intended to supplement regular routes, rather than duplicate them.
    In addition, the effort will establish a consistent set of operating parameters – such as a single phone number for reservations, consistent hours of operation and a uniform window for advanced trip reservations – for all providers throughout the region.

  • Transition will take place over five months
    The transition between current dial-a-ride providers and the switch to new Transit Link services will occur throughout the metro area over the first five months of 2010. New guidelines and fares will take effect in Anoka, Carver and Scott counties on Jan. 1, 2010. These three areas currently operate their own transit services and will continue to operate dial-a-ride services under the new structure.
    In addition, four metro-area counties – Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington – have chosen the Metro Council to operate dial-a-ride services in their area. As contracts for service in these areas come up for renewal, vendors chosen will operate under the Transit Link parameters and fare structure. New contracts for these communities will be in place on the following timeline:
    Feb. 1, 2010: Hennepin County
    March 1, 2010: Ramsey and Washington counties
    May 1, 2010: Dakota County

  • Administrative effort will be streamlined
    More than 450,000 riders used dial-a-ride services in the seven-county metro area during 2008. The Council provides about $5 million per year to dial-a-ride programs throughout the region, often augmented by local funding. Currently, nearly 20 different government and non-profit organizations provide the region’s dial-a-ride services. Once the transition is complete, Transit Link services will be provided through five contracts.
    Each county has served on a coordinating advisory committee to recommend the new fares and operating parameters. In addition, counties will work collaboratively with the Council to manage Transit Link service and administer contracts.

  • For riders, better access
    Riders will be able to access any location in the metro area, either through Transit Link or a combination of Transit Link and regular transit routes. Today, many dial-a-ride services only provide trips within the boundaries of the service area, which limits where passengers can travel.
    "The goal of the restructuring is to assure anyone in the region has access to transit services, whether via Transit Link or regular-route transit,” Bell said. “We needed to provide greater consistency to assure rides are available to the general public.”
    The Council will continue working with communities to assure a smooth transition to the new Transit Link service. Events will be planned to help existing riders and new riders understand the new service and to gain a comfort level both with Transit Link and with regular transit service.

Transit Link presentation (pdf)
Transit Link handout (pdf)
Commonly Asked Questions about Transit Link (pdf)
More on dial-a-ride restructuring

Metropolitan Council approves contract for Hennepin County Transit Link service

Safety Shields

I have heard that Metro Transit was testing safety shields on a few Gillig BRT. I had not seen them until the other day when I got a bus switch from Heywood. This one is on bus # 1152 . I really like them. They are not so intrusive that I am hitting them when I get in and out of the seat. At the same time, they offer protection from someone hitting you in the back of the head and they give you a chance to protect yourself from a sucker punch. It is not a perfect solution but it does help. I don't believe we need full safety shield like this.
I understand the Metro Transit mechanic made this. There are no safety shield for the Gillig BRT on the market. What do you think? Leave a comment.