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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:08 PM   #1
DanielFigFoz
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Minneapolis / St Paul

Here is a map I made (Southwest corridor excluded because there are still 3 possible routes.)




Photos (ALL FROM THE INTERNET, NONE BY ME:











Hiawatha Line

The Hiawatha Line is a 12-mile (19-kilometer) light-rail corridor in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from downtown Minneapolis to the southern suburb of Bloomington, connecting to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America, among other destinations. Groundbreaking for the line took place on January 17, 2001. Regular service began on a first phase of the line on June 26, 2004, with the second phase opening later that year on December 4. Each opening was accompanied with two days of free rides on the train and area buses. The line was tested for months before opening, with regular service simulated for about a month before each phase went online. It is operated by the Metro Transit division of the Metropolitan Council, which is also the largest operator of buses in the area.


Each of the 17 stations along the route are designed to have a unique architecture reflecting the neighborhood they stand in. This is not an entirely new idea for the region, as many of the higher-traffic bus stops around the city have distinct designs. Due to the unique makeup of Minneapolis's population, ticket-dispensing machines present instructions in four languages: English, Spanish, Somali, and Hmong. The 17 stations are listed below. Travel time is two to three minutes between each stop; the time between the two terminals of the airport is slightly shorter. The airport used to operate a bus shuttle between the two terminals, but the light-rail line has supplanted that service. It is free to ride between those two stops.

In the upcoming months and years the Hiawatha Line will be extended by a few blocks to the new Minneapolis Multi-Modal Station, at the current end of the line of the Hennepin Ave/Warehouse District Station to meet up with the future Northstar Corridor and will be built right next door to the new Minnesota Twins ballpark.
It is also likely that one station will also be added in Bloomington between the Humphrey Terminal station and Bloomington central Station at American Boulevard.

The Hiawatha Line uses 27 Flexity Swift trams manufactured by Bombardier, electrically powered by overhead lines. The system is designed to output 750 volts of direct current. Trains can reach speeds of 55 miles per hour, but the “general service speed” is about 40 mph or slower (especially in the congested downtown region). They are of a 70% low-floor design, meaning that 70 percent of the floor inside is within about 14 inches (36 cm) of the ground. This is the same height as the rail platforms, allowing stepless access for passengers dependent on wheelchairs or other mobility aids. The feature also makes it easier for passengers with bicycles or strollers to board the train. Each vehicle weighs about 107,000 pounds (48,500 kg) when empty. The Minneapolis installation is the first use of this model in the United States

From Wikipedia

Central Corridor

The Central Corridor is the 11-mile stretch between the downtown regions of Minneapolis and Saint Paul in Minnesota, which is currently proceeding with engineering work for a future light rail line to stem the growth of traffic congestion. The line is expected to follow the path of the current Metro Transit bus routes 16 and 50 along the combination of University Avenue and Washington Avenue (which runs from downtown Minneapolis past the University of Minnesota.

From Wikipedia
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Old December 19th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #2
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Some upcoming projects for the Hiawatha Line are extending the platforms for 3-car trains.

A new station will open in 2010 between Humphrey Terminal and Bloominton Central. It will be located at 34th Avenue and American Boulevard.

The Minneapolis Multimodal station will open in 2008 or 2009 and will serve the new Twins Stadium, and the Northstar Commuter Rail (scheduled to open in Nov. 2009).
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #3
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A station is missing on the map: Fort Snelling, bettewin Linbergh Ternimal and VA Medical Center
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Old December 19th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #4
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why does it take so long for them to approve and build this thing? the city could really use it.
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:21 PM   #5
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those are some really nice trains, and a nice paint scheme as well....beats "The Tide".
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Old December 19th, 2007, 09:39 PM   #6
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good to see that Minneapolis / St. Paul has defected to Canada.
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Old December 20th, 2007, 03:44 AM   #7
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What have the ridership numbers for the start line been like so far?
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Old December 20th, 2007, 05:21 PM   #8
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I think it is either 28,000 or 33,000 per day now. 2020 estimates for the line were 19,000. The Central Corridor will open in 2014 and will have about 40,000 riders. Southwest will not open for a while and probably won't start engineering until 2010 or further. SW will have 26-29,000 riders per day.

The cars are Bombardier Flexity Swift, built in Mexico, and modified for a limited stop operation. The cars are also used on tram lines in Europe, as well as the Docklands Light Railway in London, and in Stockholm.

The Hiawatha Line from end to end takes 36-37 minutes, and with new stations being added it will take 40-41 minutes.

The Central Corridor will take about 35 minutes.

The Southwest Corridor will probably take 30-40 minutes (no estimates have been done).

A commuter rail will start in 2009 connecting Minneapolis and Big Lake (eventually to Saint Cloud). It will use trains simular to Sounder in Seattle, and GO Transit in Toronto. There will be 4 commuter trips and 1 reverse commuter trip each way on Weekdays. There will be 3 trips each way on Weekends.

There are several other plans for Commuter rail in the Red Rock, and Rush Line corridors.

There are BRT plans for Cedar Ave, Interstate 35W, and Bottineau Boulevard.

Here are links:

www.metrotransit.org/rail Hiawatha Line
www.centralcorridor.org Will redirect to Met Council page.
www.southwesttransitway.org
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Old December 20th, 2007, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Mayor Rybak Supports Transportation Proposals
Mayor’s 2007 Budget Supports Streetcars and Changes to Downtown Traffic Flow

MINNEAPOLIS, MN -- Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak today announced support for major proposed changes to the City’s downtown transportation system and renewed his call to return streetcars to replace buses on key Minneapolis transit routes.

Speaking before a crowd of business, transportation and community leaders at the Minneapolis Central Library this morning, Mayor Rybak said that his 2007 city budget would begin to implement efforts to focus downtown transit onto a handful of streets, would change Hennepin and First Avenues into two-way streets and would finish plans for a city streetcar system in Minneapolis.

“In many ways we are going ‘back to the future’ to rebuild a streetcar city where homes, workplaces and shops are woven together,” Rybak said. “Our transportation plans today and the principals behind them are about revitalizing neighborhood districts and making it more possible to work, live and play in Minneapolis without total dependence on a car.”

Mayor Rybak proposed a total of $2.8 million of city funds for transportation as part of his recommended 2007 city budget. Primary components of proposed changes include efforts to:

* Concentrate downtown bus routes onto fewer streets – most likely onto Marquette Avenue, Second Avenue, Hennepin Avenue, Nicollet Mall and an East/West street yet to be named. Most transit buses would be removed from other downtown streets.
* Create a Commuter Transit Mall on Marquette and Second Avenues with double-wide transit lanes for faster bus traffic and improved bus shelters and signage.
* Dramatically reduce bus traffic on Nicollet Mall and have all remaining bus lines on Nicollet Mall act as a shuttle service for the entire Mall with Hybrid-only buses.
* Change Hennepin Avenue and First Avenue into two-way streets to support local businesses and theaters and make it easier for drivers to navigate the entertainment district.
* Complete plans for a citywide streetcar system, with 4-5 primary lines that would replace existing bus routes on some of the city’s busiest streets and spur urban development.

“As we set out to plan Minneapolis’ transportation future, what we are really planning is the future of the City itself,” Rybak said. “As our downtown population booms and more people yearn for an urban lifestyle, we have an opportunity to make our streets destinations in themselves, not just thoroughfares to destinations. We can rethink our streets so people experience downtown, not just drive through it.”

For more information about the Access Minneapolis Transportation Action Plan visit the City of Minneapolis website at www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/public-works/trans-plan.
I don't know how far the streetcar proposals have come along, but they look interesting.
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 10:56 AM   #10
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Light rail and Metros I am 100% for most of the places they are being constructed. I'm still not 100% on all these streetcars going in around the country (Portland, Seattle, Cincy, etc.). Beyond the strange fact that slightly more people would be willing to take "the trolley" rather than "the bus", what advantages do they have over buses to justify the extra expense of placing rail. They both have the same capacity, same speed, very similar operating costs etc. Besides places where they've given the street car dedicated lanes and traffic signal control, why are these a more popular transit development than improving bus system efficiency?
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Old December 22nd, 2007, 03:16 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderGrad View Post
Light rail and Metros I am 100% for most of the places they are being constructed. I'm still not 100% on all these streetcars going in around the country (Portland, Seattle, Cincy, etc.). Beyond the strange fact that slightly more people would be willing to take "the trolley" rather than "the bus", what advantages do they have over buses to justify the extra expense of placing rail. They both have the same capacity, same speed, very similar operating costs etc. Besides places where they've given the street car dedicated lanes and traffic signal control, why are these a more popular transit development than improving bus system efficiency?
Several reasons come to mind:
1. Most of the systems are built with the ability to change them to LRT with the addition of only new train sets, Tampa is an example of that. Our system could be changed into a light rail line overnight if we had the trains.

2. Perception. In the US (most cities anyways) people percieve the bus as a transit system of the lower class. Street cars do not have this perception.

3. In some areas a starter line can be built as a tourist line with heritage cars, as is the case here in Tampa. When the street car/trolley was being debated there was little to no hope that a LRT line would be installed.

4. While operational costs are similar over time they are lower for street cars than buses.

5. Area development. Street cars and LRT have shown time and again that people are willing to invest in new projects along a line, something that is rare to never along a bus route.

Steve
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Old December 28th, 2007, 12:58 PM   #12
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Should the Hiawatha Line and the proposed Central, Southwest, and Robert Street Corridors be merged into one light rail transit system, If so,I would name it "The Minneapolis Metro Transit System".
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Old December 28th, 2007, 07:33 PM   #13
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www.metrotransit.org : Metro Transit- A service of the Metropolitan Council. Already done.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #14
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Old December 28th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #15
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http://www.fotazas.com/photo_myzowbw...cjjmod.jpg.htm
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:53 AM   #16
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The Central Corridor will be very interesting when it finally finishes, good news for the Twin Cities.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tampasteve View Post
Several reasons come to mind:
1. Most of the systems are built with the ability to change them to LRT with the addition of only new train sets, Tampa is an example of that. Our system could be changed into a light rail line overnight if we had the trains.

2. Perception. In the US (most cities anyways) people percieve the bus as a transit system of the lower class. Street cars do not have this perception.

3. In some areas a starter line can be built as a tourist line with heritage cars, as is the case here in Tampa. When the street car/trolley was being debated there was little to no hope that a LRT line would be installed.

4. While operational costs are similar over time they are lower for street cars than buses.

5. Area development. Street cars and LRT have shown time and again that people are willing to invest in new projects along a line, something that is rare to never along a bus route.

Steve
Regarding the relative capital and operating costs for streetcars and buses, the following are some numbers from a Sound Transit study to serve the First Hill area of Seattle:

Capital Cost
Streetcar: $129.7 - $149.2 million
Electric Trolley Bus: $13.4 - $15.4 million

Annual Operating Cost:
Streetcar: $5.2 million
Electric Trolley Bus: $3.5 million

Despite the massive cost advantage of the electric trolley bus option, Sound Transit wishes to pursue the streetcar option. Part of the rationale is that the streetcar option would bring higher ridership. The flaw in the argument is that an entire trolley bus network that would bring far higher ridership could be built for the cost of the single streetcar line.

Another argument in favor of the streetcar option is that it attracts development. The counter argument is that it focuses development in a single area of a city at the expense of other areas. Also, there are other factors that need to be in place in order for streetcars to have the desired effect in attracting development. The segment of the light rail line along Howard Street in Baltimore is an example where light rail has failed to attract development. A mile to the east, the Fell's Point area is booming despite the fact that it has no rail transit service. On Howard Street, the light rail tracks pass in front of boarded-up buildings:

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Old December 29th, 2007, 06:43 PM   #18
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Quote:
The counter argument is that it focuses development in a single area of a city at the expense of other areas.
Which ignores the benefits of leverage along those lines, like better walkability and less car dependence. Local centers of neighborhoods are exactly what cities need. Trams, but also light rail or subway are helping to create something like that. As you mentioned above, busses are not as good in causing that development.

That means those lines help increasing their own ridership, because things tend to concentrate aroudn the stations making the track increasingly more attractive for many people.

Of course a PT line is no garantee for development, but in city planning nothing is for sure, never.


PS:
What causes those higher operating costs of the tram line in comparision to electric trolley buses? What is included in these annual costs? I have already read about lines where the operating and maintenance costs of comparable streetcar and bus routes showed a 4 times higher number for the bus system. If I remember correctly.
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Last edited by Slartibartfas; December 29th, 2007 at 08:01 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #19
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Baltimore and Minneapolis are very different cities. It would be unfair to expect development around the entire length of the rail system in Baltimore for a number of reasons:

1. Baltimore is a very economically depressed city. While I imagine that its extensive rail system has helped shelter the city from further decline, it won't fix years worth of social issues.

2. Baltimore has a relitavely extensive rail system. It would be nearly impossible for the city given its current socio-economic situation to support development along the entire length of the system.

Minneapolis is an economically prosperous city that has been experiencing significant development, especially along its current rail line. The light rail and streetcar lines are proposed or planned to complement and strengthen the development patterns that are already in place and help reduce bus congestion. They are also being planned by a relitavely progressive city government that has been very aggresive in addressing the other socio-economic issues that stang in the way of city-wide redevelopment.
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Old December 30th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #20
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In Minneapolis planning for light rail and subways has been going on since the early 1970s. Only did the LRT construction start in 2001.
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