You might have heard that transit ridership is down overall in the United States of America. Nobody seems to know quite why, though some suspect is has something to do with gas prices or ride-sharing companies or technology or something. Well, the good news is that Minneapolis/Saint Paul isn’t so bad compared to other cities (hello Milwaukee!). Here’s the relevant chart, with the Twin Cities metro circled for your ease):
This is all from a Citylab article, where they also suggest some common sense bus tweaks that might help offset the decline:
There are plenty of strategies at transit agencies’ disposal that are proven to get buses moving faster. In addition to dedicated lanes, cities can design streets with “bus bulb-outs” that allow buses to pick up passengers without blocking traffic, and optimize traffic-light timing using “transit signal priority” to help buses catch lights before they turn red. Transit agencies can allow riders to board through all doors, and install 21st-century fare payment technology to reduce the time buses spend at bus stops.
Knowing as I do the limits of the Metro Transit budget and local political will, I am cautiously optimistic that we will do any of these kinds of things. Though I must note that there will be trial Hennepin Avenue bus-only lane coming up? That would help a great deal with the #6 bus, which could be great, but is often stuck in traffic instead.
See also: Canada.
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