We'll get started with the live chat at 12:15 p.m. In the meantime, below is a chart that offers a snapshot of one aspect of our regional transportation patterns.
Hello, folks. Thanks for taking the time to join us today. John and Doug are here and looking forward to answering your questions.
Thanks for your good question. Gov. Dayton would play a significant role in most transit plans.
For one, he appoints the chair of the Metropolitan Council, the government entity that plans, builds and operates most transit systems.
Secondly, his advocacy, and signature, are needed on any bill that would change and expedite the process of how transit is funded.
You make an interesting point. Yes, all projections are iffy, and all will be proven wrong to some degree and in some direction.
But because transportation projects take so long to approve and fund and build, we don’t have any choice but to make the best predictions we can about what we will need down the road, so to speak.
Maintaining flexibility and balance in the system is a good idea given the inherent uncertainties.
And it should be noted that even though the predictions have changed significantly, the comparison base is a decade old. The millennial generation was too young to be surveyed, let alone have an opinion.
Good question, with no complete answer from the Met Council yet. The Red Rock corridor in the SE metro is more likely to be bus-rapid transit, however.
It's a combination of a lot of money and and many juridictions and interests being involved.
In particular, most projects need 50 percent federal funding, and metro-area projects are in a keen competition for that investment.
“Metro Transit is one of the country's largest transit systems, providing roughly 90 percent of the 78 million bus trips taken annually in the Twin Cities. Each weekday customers board Metro Transit buses and trains an average of 250,000 times.” (Source: Metro Transit website)
I can think of a trillion reasons – as in the dollars it would cost. It might be more feasible to put the city on stilts. But seriously, it’s just not very likely.
But it’s possible that at least for part of a future line a short subway-type tunnel could be used, especially if Southwest were to be rerouted north on Nicollet, from the Midtown Greenway.
Great question, and one that the City Council and the mayor have been wrestling with. It's likely there will be more of a push to approve projects, but not a statutory mandate.
Unclear how much commuter rail there will be.
Northstar has shown the difficulty of providing efficient schedules while sharing freight rail right of ways.
Indeed, there was early talk of adding a commuter-rail line directly west to Wayzata, and perhaps beyond. But the challenges of Northstar and the controversies over SW has cooled this talk.
There has never been an effort to make the bus system a real alternative to the automobile, with a serious level of service and amenities.
It’s been treated as a minimal mobility safety net for people who can’t afford a car, and then both transit critics and advocates of the more glamorous rail systems declare it a proven fact that people won’t ride the bus.
Enhancements to the bus system, in my view, are by far the most cost effective steps we could take to improve transit
Your question is one many, including several key legislators, ask.
There are ambitious plans to expand bus service. In general they can be categorized as follows:
1. Add more Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines, like the one down Cedar Av. and the one being developed for I35W South.
Add so-called “rapid bus” lines within the city. These would run on existing routes, but greatly improve travel time and convenience.
And there is also a plan for more and better standard bus service.
But all this takes investment, which can’t be counted on unless the Legislature acts to adopt a 7-county transit tax, which stalled last session despite Gov. Mark Dayton’s lobbying.
“Metro Transit operates the Metro Blue Line (Hiawatha), Northstar commuter rail line and 123 bus routes — 66 are local-service routes and 51 are express routes and 6 contract service routes, using a fleet of 885 buses. The majority of the agency's fleet (696) are standard 40-foot buses — 97 of these are hybrid-electric vehicles. Additionally, there are 167 articulated ("accordion") buses and 22 are over-the-road coach-style buses.” (Source: Metro Transit website)
Getting the Central Corridor built was a big victory for long suffereing Metro East.