Author: Aaron Isaacs

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 created the bus-only shoulder and developed 270 miles of them, a national model. He worked on the Met Council's first TOD handbook. 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.

Metro Transit's stop at Penn & West Broadway at the Bottineau stop

Rerouting the Bottineau Blue Line

When Hennepin County prevented the BNSF and Canadian Pacific railroads from building a freight connection where their lines crossed in Crystal, that killed any chance of light rail sharing the BNSF right of way for seven miles through Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park. That alignment is no longer available, so what now? I’d […]

Nest

Urban Eagles; Year 2

This is a follow-up to my March 20, 2019 post, “The New Neighbors,” about the pair of bald eagles that moved into a big cottonwood tree two doors down from me in the middle of my south Minneapolis neighborhood. They actually have a street address. Last year, the eagles built a nest, although it looked […]

Randolph Square

Decoding the transit ridership numbers

You may have noticed recent press coverage of the latest Met Council transit ridership numbers. They report that light rail and arterial BRT have increased, but not enough to offset the continuing decline of regular bus ridership. The staff report to the Council includes much finer grained detail and analysis that hasn’t made it into […]

St. Paul Bus Crash

Hennepin County Endangers Transit Funding

In a shocking 4-3 decision, the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (which is to say the Hennepin County commissioners) voted last month to divert transit sales tax revenues to roads. At a time when transit funding is facing a crisis in the state legislature due to Republican opposition, it’s hard to imagine a more cynical […]

Cline Bus

A Look at Future Rapid Bus Lines

A wave of faster limited stop transit services will arrive in the next few years. The Orange Line BRT (I-35W Minneapolis-Burnsville, replacing Route 535) is fully funded and construction is underway. The B Line (overlaid on Route 21 Selby-Lake), D Line (overlaid on Route 5 Chicago-Fremont), E Line (overlaid on Route 6 Southdale-Hennepin-4th Street SE), […]

Gates

The Quarterly Transit Report – November 2019

The December service change consists of numerous minor schedule changes. Some trips are being added, others eliminated to match demand. Although there are some big BRT and LRT service increases on the horizon, for now adding service is constrained by a shortage of bus operators and a looming budget deficit. Currently Metro Transit is about […]

Downtown East

Downtown Apartment Areas Deserve Better Bus Service

Thousands of new apartments have been built on the fringes of downtown Minneapolis in the North Loop, the Guthrie Theatre area (Downtown East) and across the river in Old St. Anthony. These new residents ought to be prime candidates for bus service, but Metro Transit has made no service changes or improvements to try and […]

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The New Hennepin Bus Lanes

Earlier this year Metro Transit and the City of Minneapolis did a demonstration of rush hour bus lanes on Hennepin Avenue between Franklin Avenue and Uptown Transit Station. Bus service has always been extremely slow due to morning backups from I-94 and afternoon backups from Lagoon Avenue. The demo worked just fine, but relied on […]

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The Quarterly Transit Report–August 2019

These are not good times for bus ridership. It’s down 7 percent in the Twin Cities metro area for the first half of 2019 compared with 2018. In contrast, Green Line light rail ridership is up 5 percent, the Blue Line is down only 1 percent and the Northstar line is down 3 percent. What’s […]

C Line Hero Image

The Quarterly Transit Report–June 2019

C Line Starts June 8 The big news on June 8 is the startup of the C Line BRT between downtown Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center (BCTC) via Penn Avenue N. It will largely replace the Route 19, which ran every 10 minutes and will continue to serve local stops with half-hourly service […]