Mass Transit

MetroTransit's Target Field Station

Last weekend, before attending the Mute Math concert, I took a walk down the newest couple of blocks in MetroTransit's first light rail line, the Hiawatha Line.  I snapped a couple photos and had some interesting observations that I wanted to mention.

First, here's the new sign that looks like it's on the back of the Target Field scoreboard:

Bus and Rail Directions via Google Maps

I just noticed that, a week or two ago, MetroTransit announced that route and trip information for their buses and trains throughout the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is now available via Google Maps.  The program, dubbed Google Transit, has been active for a year or two in such major markets as Portland and Chicago, among many others.  Here's a trip I just queued up:

Ride The Chipotle Train!

On my way home from work today, I was walking to the platform and I saw this:

Do-Nothing Governor Overruled on Transportation Bill

This past week has been a historic week for people who leave their houses on a regular basis in Minnesota. This week, Governor Tim Pawlenty's often overused veto power was overruled by state legislators. This is a major win for the state, as Gov. Pawlenty has consistently vetoed every transportation bill to pass his desk in the last six years as well as worked to cut transportation funding in favor of balancing the state budget without raising taxes.

MetroTransit and Safety

As an update to a previous post, I found and snapped a photo of this ad:

MetroTransit Big Ad

Now it makes sense. It's all about not getting hit by trains. It's hard for some people not to get hit when they're on tracks with flashing lights, loud bells, and a train making loud dinging noises as it approaches. I guess it's comforting to know that you should do your part to make sure the rest of the community is safe too.

Testing The Go-To Card

Go-To CardFor the past month or so, I have been testing the MetroTransit's much-delayed Go-To Card system. I remember over three years ago when I started seeing things about Go-To Cards coming in early 2004 with the opening of the Hiawatha Light Rail line. However, the Go-To Card systems have been sitting idle for the last two years at light rail stations and on buses.

Learn A New Way To Move

Apparently MetroTransit found some money because there are a handful of new features on the web. The first is a fun new Flash site entitled "Learn A New Way To Move" and located at Interesting.

The deisgn is fun and nicely enhanced with Flash. It looks like a well-worn booklet with lots of fun stuff wrote in the margins and hand-written tabs. Fun stuff, and fairly well-deisgned although it could use a non-Flash version.

MetroTransit and The Future of Fare Payment

So this evening I had a bit of a disappointment with MetroTransit and their test run of the GoTo Card. So here's the e-mail letter I sent to them.

Dear MetroTransit,

I'm Just A Bus Driver, What Do I Know?

So tonight I went to a meeting of Transit for Livable Communities at the nice Goowill building just off University and Fairview. The meeting was mostly about the Central Corridor project, and since it's hard to get information on the web, I decided the best way to find out about developments is by going to the meeting.

Train To The Airport

I hope last year's rather weak winter weather doesn't hinder our new Light Rail system. For those who don't know, about a year ago Minneapolis opened a light rail line. I ride it every day home from work (and sometimes to work).

Today and yesterday we've had a decent amount of snow, and it seems to have caught MetroTransit off guard. You see, going home usually goes pretty smooth because the trains run every 7 minutes during rush hour. But with all the snow, the schedule seems very sporadic.