The Quarterly Transit Report–March 2019

The March schedule changes mostly represent minor schedule adjustments, but there are a few changes of note.

Routes 2 and 3 have done a robust business connecting the U of M West Bank campus with southeast Minneapolis. Now a number of evening trips have been added to serve that market.

December saw the elimination of 22 bus stops along Route 2 Franklin Crosstown and the re-spacing of others in an attempt to speed up the notoriously slow route. Effectively the stop spacing is now every quarter mile. The old running time was left in place for three months. Now it has been changed based on new data and here are the results. Depending on the time of day, the running time has been shortened slightly. The biggest improvement was 4 minutes for eastbound midday trips. The eastbound PM peak actually got a minute slower. Future traffic signal priority should cut it a little more.

Running time (mins.)-Eastbound
Time of day   Old  New
AM peak        42   41
Midday          45   41
PM peak       49   50
Night             40  40

Running time (mins.)-Westbound
Time of day  Old  New
AM peak       42   40
Midday         44   43
PM peak       52   51
Night            42  40

Route 14 downtown reroute: On its face the loss of the 4th Street contraflow bus lane in downtown Minneapolis would seem to be a step backwards, but it actually has greatly improved service on northbound Route 14 Bloomington Avenue-West Broadway-Robbinsdale. It has been moved to 7th Street, which means it now serves the heart of downtown, not the northern fringe. That’s bound to make it more attractive, including to residents of the burgeoning North Loop. Also, it will share 7th Street with Routes 5, 19, 22 and the soon-to-arrive C Line BRT. This adds more service options for North Side residents headed for the Broadway area.

Route 83 Lexington Crosstown was created in 2014 to feed the Green Line at University Avenue and Route 54 Airport-Mall of America at West 7th Street. I’ve been worried that it wouldn’t generate enough ridership to survive. That may be true. With this schedule change, the night service after 7 PM has been cut, along with selected morning trips.

Route 537 Southdale-Normandale College has been extended to 108th & France. This was easy to do, because the route had more layover than it needed. It now serves the Valley West shopping center and some senior citizen housing.

2018 LRT Ridership
In 2018 the Green Line carried a record 13.8 million passengers, 42,572 per average weekday. The Blue Line also set a record of 11.1 million passengers, 32,921 per weekday. Light rail accounted for 31 percent of Metro Transit ridership.

Ridership profile
A recent staff report to the Met Council gives an interesting statistical profile of who rides Twin Cities transit, how they ride and their trip purpose. Hopefully you can read the fine print in the attached graphic.

Whorides Final


Aaron Isaacs

About Aaron Isaacs

Aaron retired in 2006 after 33 years as a planner and manager for Metro Transit, where he worked in route and schedule planning, operations, maintenance, transit facilities, light rail and traffic advantages for buses. He's an historian of transit, as a 40+ year volunteer with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. He's co-author of Twin Cities by Trolley, The Streetcar Era in Minneapolis and St. Paul, and author of Twin Ports by Trolley on Duluth-Superior.