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Old June 28th, 2012, 06:25 AM   #81
Benn
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You can thank the Metropolitan Council for that, without the regional structure the LRT lines would never have happened. Regardless of what AM radio nutjobs have to say, most people in urban areas would like to have LRT or streecar lines nearby (look at all the additional stops that were lobbied for on the Central Corridor). Before the Hiawatha line the NIMBY issue was pretty prevalent, but now I think its much less so. I've been to a couple of Prospect Park neighborhood development meetings and everyone in attendance was happy to have the Central Corridor coming through and were very much in favor of dense mixed use development between the two stops. I am sure there is a range of opinion on the issue but what I hear tends to be favorable.

I'd also expect to see one or two of the streetcar lines go ahead in the next couple years, local politicians and developers are jockeying for position as to which ones as we speak but its all very promising these days on the mass transit front.
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Old July 12th, 2012, 06:07 AM   #82
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MinnPost
http://www.minnpost.com/cityscape/20...-and-then-some

Quote:
Get ready for The Interchange, Minneapolis’ Grand Central Station – and then some
By Marlys Harris | 07/03/12


Courtesy Knutson Construction/EE&K a Perkins Eastman company
The Interchange untangles pedestrian paths to trains and buses and allows safe passage over tracks to nearby streets.


This spring, while people were ripping their hair out about the Vikings stadium, a more exciting project for downtown Minneapolis was quietly speeding toward realization. And — hold onto your hat — the groundbreaking is set for next Monday.

Called "The Interchange," the $80 million development, right next to Target Field, will knit together the endpoints of the North Star, Hiawatha and Central Corridor. Professional planners refer to it as a multimodal transportation hub.

To Peter McLaughlin, a Hennepin County commissioner and chairman of the Regional Railroad Authority, I said that it sounded kind of like an open-air version of New York's Grand Central Terminal, where commuters catch trains, subways, buses and cabs to travel from one far-flung part of the metro to another.

Our ‘Grand Central Station’

"Not kind of," he says. "It will be like Grand Central Station. A little disaggregated, maybe, but, yeah, Grand Central Station."

The hub has been in the Metropolitan Council's regional transportation plan for quite some time. (There's also one slated for St. Paul at the Union Depot.) But, the Minneapolis project took on a head of steam after the Twins ballpark opened in 2010.

"In the first year, 8,000 fans used public transit each day," says Ed Hunter, Interchange project manager. That was more than anybody expected and, at game times, the area became a mess. People crisscrossed each other, trying to get to either the North Star or the Hiawatha LRT line. Those who wanted to stay in the neighborhood to eat or to shop had to walk over live train tracks or slither down a narrow sidewalk to get where they were going.

The area was doomed to become an even bigger mess when the Central Corridor line goes into operation in 2014. Twice as many people would be flooding the streets and platforms from the arrival of 500 trains a day and 1,800 buses. Of course, downtown Minneapolis wants more people to commute, visit, hang around and spend money. So says McLaughlin, "It's a good problem to have."

Ergo, Hennepin County put the project on a more aggressive schedule and managed to convince the Met Council and the Federal Transportation Administration that building the Interchange earlier, rather than later, made sense.

Since rerouting of the turnaround areas for trains would be necessary, it wouldn't make sense to dig everything up after the Central Corridor LRT started running. Hunter says he persuaded the county to do what's called a "design-build." That's a method of accelerating a project by having one team in charge of both steps. Already, Knutson Construction, the company also renovating Riverside Plaza, has won the contract.

Transit headquarters — and lots more

The Interchange untangles pedestrian paths to trains and buses and allows safe passage over tracks to nearby streets. But, as they say in those infomercials, there's much more.

The hub will include space for bars and restaurants, a Metro Transit Police station, a bike shop and bike racks. (For commuters' sake, I suggest adding a dry cleaner, a shoe repair and a hair cut joint.)

There will also be a stretch called "The "Great Lawn," which could be used for fairs, concerts, exhibits or an ice-skating rink, and "The Cascade,” a huge stairway (think of the Spanish Steps in Rome, only bigger and wider) that would be a meeting place ("Psst, Romeo. I'll see thee at The Cascade."); it could also serve as an informal amphitheater.

A similar project in Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland has been very successful, says Barbara Thoman, executive director at Transit for Livable Communities in St. Paul. "It's come to be called 'Portland's living room," she says, and it hosts film festivals, musicians, a farmers market and fairs.


Courtesy Knutson Construction/EE&K a Perkins Eastman companyThe hub will include space for bars and restaurants, a Metro Transit Police station, a bike shop and bike racks.

Of course, whenever any city puts in a new open-air development, the worrier in me starts fretting that it will draw panhandlers, drunks, pickpockets or worse. But if enough people use the space and the transit police patrol it, the Interchange should suffer no more nuisances than any other busy city street.

All the Interchange development will take place on county land.

During the two years of construction, the current turnaround area for trains will be rerouted to wrap around the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, which burns garbage to create electricity. Nobody using the Interchange will have to look at trucks unloading the yucky stuff because that side of the HERC facility will be at the back where trains are stored. The other side of the building, a blank wall, will face platforms.

"Could you use it for light shows?" I asked Hunter, in hopes that someday I could once more feel like I was in Times Square without actually having to travel there.

Year-round activities

"That's what we're thinking," he said. "We want the area to be used 365 days a year."

Seriously? In Minnesota?

The answer is “yes.” Excess energy from the HERC plant will go to heat the sidewalks and the stairways. Using steam to melt snow turns out to be cheaper than shoveling. And maybe visitors will be able to enjoy a cup of joe in an outdoor cafe in January. Pretty exciting.

Another part of the plan that could be thrilling — at least to developer types — is a squaring off of an Indianapolis 500-style curve in the road on the northwest side of the area, making room for a hotel, office building or stores. At least, that's what Hennepin County hopes will come in. There will also be routes to connect the area to the North Loop.

A patchwork of funding is underwriting the project: $39.1 million from Hennepin County, $17.2 million from state bonding, $10.5 million from the feds, $10 million from the Met Council, $1.5 million from the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, and $500,000 from Minneapolis (to square off that street) and another $500,000 from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, because, says McLaughlin, "the design calls for innovative water treatment."

The county expects some return on its investment from parking fees. (There will be a small 250-vehicle garage under the train platform.) Store rents and licensing fees from whoever wants to sell stuff on the Great Lawn, for example, hot dogs or ice cream, could supply another revenue stream.

And, of course, there are the naming rights.

Please, I beg of you, Hennepin County: Don't call it Target Plaza. We've been there and done that — a lot.
Photos source: http://twincitiestransit.blogspot.co...dbreaking.html








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Old July 13th, 2012, 05:38 AM   #83
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This is really great to see, goodget some positive development going around the ballpark, looks like great break out space for twins games too. The design looks really sharp and the extra parking certainly won't hurt anything.

Also its going be almost exactly nothing like Grand Central Station. This is really wonderful, McLaughlin needs to work on his descriptives. If they wanted to compare St Paul Union station to Grand Central, maybe, but these are completely different projects in every way except that both are multi-modal transit centers.
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Old July 13th, 2012, 06:01 AM   #84
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Now THAT'S urban mass transit!
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Old July 13th, 2012, 06:13 AM   #85
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So, what do the new S70s for Minneapolis look like?
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Old July 15th, 2012, 12:15 AM   #86
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I'm a little curious about that myself. Metro Transit had an early render about two years ago of an 70 along the lines of the San Diego trains in paintjob similar to the Current trains except with blue replacing black in the scheme, but haven't seen anything since or a any official releases. I think we should see some actual S70s by the end of the year on the Hiawatha line for testing purposes, but probably not till autumn.
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Old July 15th, 2012, 01:08 AM   #87
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I read somewhere the new train sets will begin arriving in August
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Old July 15th, 2012, 10:12 PM   #88
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Awesome, it will be interesting to see how they compare to the Bombardier's, though I am sure they will seem nicer right away being brand new and all.
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Old August 8th, 2012, 07:08 AM   #89
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This report is a good compendium of the transitway projects in the Twin Cities.

http://councilmeetings.metc.state.mn...eportfinal.pdf
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Old August 25th, 2012, 10:27 PM   #90
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Looks like we will be getting the new LRVs in early September, here is a fantastic PDF from the Met Council detailing the construction and testing of the new S70s as well as renderings and updates on construction throughout the line. The new trains look pretty good to my eyes, but I still like the black as opposed to blue trim personally.

http://www.metrocouncil.org/transpor...0120808PPT.pdf
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Old October 29th, 2012, 04:02 PM   #91
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Quote:
Originally Posted by progressiverailroading.com
The first light-rail vehicle (LRV) built for the Central Corridor arrived yesterday (October 10th) at Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis. The new LRV No. 201 glided to a stop next to a recently repainted Hiawatha LRV waiting at the station during a ceremony yesterday, Metropolitan Council officials said in a prepared statement.

"The arrival of this American-made light-rail vehicle is a very visible symbol of the progress we're making toward finishing the line, which was 74 percent complete by the end of August", said Susan Haigh, chair of the Metropolitan Council, which oversees Metro Transit, the operator of Central Corridor. We are well on our way to achieving the 75 percent completion milestone this fall, thanks to the skill and dedication of more than 4,000 construction workers over the past three years", she said.

Forty-seven LRVs will be built by Siemens at its Sacramento plant for the Green Line. The region's first LRT line, the Hiawatha, will receive 12 new LRVs as well, and that line will be rebranded the "Blue Line."

Testing of the new LRVs on Central Corridor tracks will begin in late 2013, with service expected to begin in 2014, officials said.

Taken from Here
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Old November 15th, 2012, 11:24 PM   #92
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Speculative future rail network of Twin Cities by unknown author

[IMG]http://i47.************/345eu02.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i47.************/15yg9bq.jpg[/IMG]
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Old November 16th, 2012, 11:41 AM   #93
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Not a bad vision, tho I'd extend the 5 westwards so it crosses the 3, 2 and ends at a connection with the 1. I'd also extend the M eastwards across the river to so it at least hooks up with the 1 again.
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Old February 20th, 2013, 04:19 PM   #94
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Some pictures of Central Corridor Construction by Somnifor from Midwest Forum

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1564062
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Old February 27th, 2013, 08:59 PM   #95
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A cool video on Central Corridor by LrvoPdude at Urbanmsp/transportation forum

http://twincitiestransit2.blogspot.c...struction.html
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Old April 3rd, 2013, 03:14 AM   #96
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Metro Magazine
http://www.metro-magazine.com/news/s...t-in-june.aspx

Quote:
March 28, 2013
Twin Cities' Metro to launch Red Line BRT in June


Photos courtesy Metropolitan Council.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Metropolitan Council announced it will launch its Red Line bus rapid transit (BRT) service June 2013.

The 11-mile line will provide service along a five-station corridor from the Apple Valley Transit Station to the Mall of America, where it will connect with Blue Line (formerly Hiawatha Line) trains for easy travel to the airport, Metrodome, downtown Minneapolis and Target Field.

Vehicles will utilize bus-only shoulders along Cedar Avenue/State Highway 77. Traffic volumes at the Minnesota River crossing exceed 90,000 vehicles a day, with congestion extending to County Highway 42 in Apple Valley. That intersection is one of the busiest in the state, with 70,000 vehicles per day, with average speeds of 24 mph by 2040.



The BRT service's fleet of seven buses, built by Nova Bus, can accommodate 30 people seated and 30 standing. The vehicles feature wider doors for easy boarding, modern heating/air conditioning systems, and an open interior design.

Other onboard features include security cameras, two bike racks,"Next Stop" display and audio announcements, and all front and back doors of Red Line buses will be equipped with Go-To card readers for faster boarding.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 04:40 PM   #97
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Orange line BRT

image hosted on flickr

I-35W and 46th St. Bus Station by MSPdude, on Flickr
The central lane (red stripes) are designated for Orange line BRT buses. 46th
street station can be seen here in the center of the picture.Orange line BRT
will run from downtown Minneapolis to Burnsville with limited stops.
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Old April 8th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #98
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New Siemens LRV for Central Corridor aka green line

Photos from MSP Dude
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Siemens LRV at Target Field by MSPdude, on Flickr
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Green Line Map by MSPdude, on Flickr
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 03:25 AM   #99
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Green Line updates

Some recent photo updates of Green Line by MSPdude on Flickr

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10th St. Station and Capitol by MSPdude, on Flickr

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First National Bank Building by MSPdude, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Green Line OMF Building by MSPdude, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Central Station by MSPdude, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Stadium Village Station by MSPdude, on Flickr

image hosted on flickr

Dale St. Station by MSPdude, on Flickr

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Green Line Undercrossing by MSPdude, on Flickr
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 07:00 AM   #100
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Great pics.

The BRT looks great. Is most of it shoulder ROW or is there any complete busway sections?
It's just that BRT is such a vague term that it can run the gamit from Ottawa Transitway to just s regular bus with fewer stops.
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