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23 hours ago, MVTArider said:

All Metro Transit service is now suspended until June 1st.

https://www.metrotransit.org/all-transit-service-suspended-through-sunday-may-31

MVTA is also canceling and altering service Friday in conjunction with Metro Transit's suspension.

Metro Transit is continuing to use buses to transport National Guard, police, and protestors. Some operators are refusing to transport them https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/bv8zaw/minneapolis-bus-drivers-refuse-to-transport-george-floyd-protesters-to-jail?fbclid=IwAR1n3qjU2GLwlY5ycSO3e3OozznrpUypKjQk-N5-0CEuKHVjZZBpFNV-2FI

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One of the new SWLRT cars sitting on the Sabo siding 

Now I did say I have something on Metro Transit's bus fleet. Here is 994 on January 1995. This bus was purchased used, it was original to AC Transit. Several AC Transit MAN articulated buses that were

RTB was the "Regional Transit Board". It's been a while since I've read up on it (there's a good amount of material in the downtown Minneapolis library stacks). From what I remember, Metropolitan

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On 5/28/2020 at 11:26 AM, MVTArider said:

Out of concern for the safety of riders and transit operators/staff, all Blue line train service is suspended until further notice with NO replacement buses due to the riots in Minneapolis. The MSP Terminal shuttle connection will continue to operate.

I forgot to post this earlier, in regards to the GM New Looks, 1142 is still in the Holter's collection. I believe it is just a parts unit.

Here is a photo I got last week and a better one from 2014:

49937587272_2ccef6325e_t.jpg  14574322693_25abeed57b_t.jpg

First I hope everyone including all transit operators, passengers, and fans are safe and not in any harms way with the ongoing situation with the riots. Second, awesome photos of 1142, it still has the RTB logos on it too, indicating it operated for contract routes. I've seen MAN Americanas along with the SG220s and SG310s with those logos along with the Scanias. The Holters have also taken ownership of 198, which is still in all red. It was once on Metro's property at the Snelling garage. Another fishbowl numbered 1138, I saw a FB video of that bus not too long ago and it operates. Not sure who owns it, but so far three fishbowls from MTC exist. Not sure if any Flxibles exist, but stay tuned if I ever find out.

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On 5/30/2020 at 2:21 AM, Big CJ said:

it still has the RTB logos on it too

I was wondering about that decal and what it means. It seems to show up on a lot of buses from that era.

On 5/30/2020 at 2:21 AM, Big CJ said:

indicating it operated for contract routes. I

That's a helpful hint! Any more details on what "RTB" stood for and how the contract arrangement operated? Significantly different from the Met Council Regional Route system that we know today?

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RTB was the "Regional Transit Board". It's been a while since I've read up on it (there's a good amount of material in the downtown Minneapolis library stacks).

From what I remember, Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) was created in 1967 to handle public transportation planning, while the Metropolitan Council was created to handle urban planning. MTC commissioned a subway plan for the Twin Cities in 1968. MTC was also responsible for taking over private bus lines. The main bus service, Twin Cities Lines, was taken over in 1970. Various suburban operations were acquired over time, I think the last ones still operating (but receiving public subsidies) were Medicine Lake Lines and Lorenz/North Suburban Lines c. 1999/2000.

Metropolitan Council during the early 1970s advocated a busway system, as it felt rail was unnecessary. 

MTC planned for downtown elevated transit lines in the 1970s (similar to Miami MetroMover or Detroit People Mover) that would be the start of a regional automated rail system.

The problem was that MTC and Metropolitan Council were both doing transit planning and couldn't agree. 

In 1975, rail transit planning was banned by the state. The ban was lifted in 1980. I believe that in 1980 (could be wrong here) that the state authorized the creation of the county regional railroad authorities. These authorities would be allowed to purchase ROWs and plan for rail transit. These still exist, although much more limited now, and to my knowledge were created in Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, and Washington Counties. 

These regional railroad authorities planned light rail lines all over the metro. The problem they had was that there wasn't any coordination between them. The answer was the RTB.

I believe the RTB was created in 1984 or 1986 when opt-out transit providers were authorized. RTB was responsible for coordinating transit planning and passing federal transit dollars to the MTC and the opt-outs. Ultimately, none of the rail plans developed by the regional railroad authorities and the RTB went anywhere. 

By the 1990s, MTC had public accountability issues. From old articles I read, it sounded like there was a lot of management issues. 

In 1994, the Legislature merged MTC and RTB into the Metropolitan Council. Metropolitan Council took over other regional functions including tax sharing, the regional water and sewer system, and public housing responsibilities in areas that did not already have public housing agencies. 

MTC was renamed Metropolitan Council Transit Operations in 1994 during the takeover. MCTO was rebranded to Metro Transit in 1997.

The current transit planning process now is that the regional railroad authorities initiate rail and BRT planning and hand projects over to the Metropolitan Council once an alignment is identified. So far, the Hiawatha (Blue), Central (Green), Southwest (Green ext.), Bottineau (Blue ext.), Cedar (Red BRT), Gateway (Gold BRT) have been handled this way.

Rush Line, Riverview Corridor, Hwy 36, Robert St (not currently progressing), Northeast Corridor (not currently progressing), Red Rock (not currently progressing), Orange extension (not currently progressing) are all studies that have been done by regional railroad authorities since 2000.

The Orange Line BRT came about from a MNDOT study in 2005. Metro Transit has jointly developed that project with the Hennepin and Dakota County railroad authorities. 

 

 

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Another RTB note:

I believe that the first contract routes were in the late 80s, and connected the south of the river suburbs and were run by Airport Express. I believe RTB was responsible for contracted routes. 

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24 minutes ago, Tcmetro said:

Another RTB note:

I believe that the first contract routes were in the late 80s, and connected the south of the river suburbs and were run by Airport Express. I believe RTB was responsible for contracted routes. 

Thanks for the history lesson on the MTC and RTB. Speaking of RTB. Here is one of the contracted routes operated by one of the private firms, Medicine Lake Lines. 

Medicine Lake Lines 482

 

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5 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

RTB was the "Regional Transit Board". It's been a while since I've read up on it (there's a good amount of material in the downtown Minneapolis library stacks).

....

The Orange Line BRT came about from a MNDOT study in 2005. Metro Transit has jointly developed that project with the Hennepin and Dakota County railroad authorities. 

Outstanding information. Thank you -- because of your post, I have genuinely learned. For all the resources that we enjoy online, this kind of detail is hard to find in absence of first-hand materials (such as those you reference at the library) or first-hand experience of an actual human.

Though it seems that RTB itself was a bit underwhelming, sounds like it was an important intermediate step. Had RTB not existed for ~10 years, today's transit landscape would likely be in rough shape.

Do you happen to know if RTB had a public-facing presence? Or was it -- by design -- more of a behind-the-scenes entity?

I ask because I have a project in another large metro area that's about 30 years behind MSP -- right down to a floundering "RTA" (regional transit authority) that supposed to "coordinate" other transit entities. Even if no one can remotely define what "coordinate" means. I'll forego the long version, but a huge problem is public expectations: transit supporters insist that this RTA is "the" solution. If the MSP example offers any instruction, many more pieces will need to fall into place before transit improves.

Returning to the topic... look at that RTS! Doesn't even feel right in the Twin Cities!

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Metro Transit bus and Northstar service will resume operation tomorrow (Wednesday) at 4am. There will be detours in place for some routes serving areas heavily affected by the riots. Light rail service will remain suspended another day or more as work is done to assess and fix damage to the infrastructure.

https://www.metrotransit.org/resuming-service-with-renewed-commitment-to-community

This return of service is still at the reduced levels put in place due to COVID-19.

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On 6/1/2020 at 8:12 PM, Border City Transit said:

Outstanding information. Thank you -- because of your post, I have genuinely learned. For all the resources that we enjoy online, this kind of detail is hard to find in absence of first-hand materials (such as those you reference at the library) or first-hand experience of an actual human.

Though it seems that RTB itself was a bit underwhelming, sounds like it was an important intermediate step. Had RTB not existed for ~10 years, today's transit landscape would likely be in rough shape.

Do you happen to know if RTB had a public-facing presence? Or was it -- by design -- more of a behind-the-scenes entity?

I ask because I have a project in another large metro area that's about 30 years behind MSP -- right down to a floundering "RTA" (regional transit authority) that supposed to "coordinate" other transit entities. Even if no one can remotely define what "coordinate" means. I'll forego the long version, but a huge problem is public expectations: transit supporters insist that this RTA is "the" solution. If the MSP example offers any instruction, many more pieces will need to fall into place before transit improves.

Returning to the topic... look at that RTS! Doesn't even feel right in the Twin Cities!

I was able to dig up a little more on the RTB - it was created in 1984. Here's the note on the makeup of the board:

11 members (8 members appointed by the Metropolitan Council, 1 from each metropolitan agency district, 6 of whom are to be elected city, town, or county officials; 3 members appointed by the governor, including a chair, 1 person age 65 or older, and 1 person with a disability); appointed by governor, Metropolitan Council; 4-year terms; per diem and expenses; members file with Ethical Practices Board.; 14 members (1 appointed by governor). (as of 1984)

Here's the links for more reading:

https://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/agencies/detail?AgencyID=1371

http://www2.mnhs.org/library/findaids/gr00247.xml

 

The development of the first light rail line in Minnesota was championed by Jesse Ventura, the ex-wrestler who became Minnesota's Independent governor in 1999. Decades of talk went somewhere when someone with political power wanted to get it done.

The regional aspect of it is really important, in my opinion. Most new systems have been developed by regional government bodies that have some kind of taxing power. Getting the regional buy-in gets a lot more revenue, political support across the region instead of just from the big city, and opportunity to connect city to major suburban commercial and employment centers.

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Overjoyed to see the buses finally running again! By the way, has anyone seen any 1100s in service? I don’t think I’ve seen any run since the current pick was implemented.

update: 3142 is on the 54 right now, per a friend

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Swung by MJR today and saw a number of 1500s transferred from East (1525-39). I also saw an unidentified 3100 unit. Looks like the 3100s will be coming out to play for the foreseeable future. In recent days, a friend saw them on the 54 and the 22. 

Per the MTS' East, West, Crosstown RFP, 1628-31 will also be transferred to First Transit beginning tomorrow, to coincide with the 67 being transferred over to First Transit. 

Service changes going into effect are minor; most trips overnight have been restored; they are adding additional 21C trips for weekdays. It appears continuous overnight service on all routes have been eliminated except on Blue and Green Lines (Fri into Sat and Sat into Sun). https://www.metrotransit.org/minor-service-adjustments-begin-saturday-june-13

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LRT is still only operating 6a-9p I thought?

Nice to see them bringing back late service on the 54 though. Even with the drop in MSP usage there are still a lot of airport workers who need to use that. I'm still driving or walking instead of using any transit until they relax the 'essential trips only', but I hope those D60 will still run a little after they finally relax that requirement.

Still no word on artic replacements or awarding that 40' electric/diesel contract yet?

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So yeah anyways here's some pics of route 54 and 74 action, fresh off W. 7th this afternoon, taken while out on a long walk:

50003203992_e8da69bc07_t.jpg 50002426273_5728cbc67c_t.jpg  50002426608_cb305c7f1e_t.jpg  50002427868_6689b2cd1d_t.jpg  50003206292_869c6006d9_t.jpg  50002948696_476e7dd6a9_t.jpg  50003206897_f09d86aca3_t.jpg  50002428873_55a352e997_t.jpg  50002949711_b1d8b19293_t.jpg  50002950091_ebaa29d59e_t.jpg  50003209032_06acb5399d_t.jpg  50003209247_1c97db33d1_t.jpg  50002431188_a7595bf24d_t.jpg 

It looked like 40' units were only running certain 54 trips, while 54M runs were exclusively artics. It also seemed like the 54 was more like 10 minute frequency, though it's scheduled at 15. There were three artics I spotted on the 74, though only got pics of two.

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Spotted 3205 and 3425 on the 10 on Saturday

013FE7F7-E1E1-41DC-A1B6-EE08A3673A74.jpeg

0EF30628-E496-4505-B89F-914BE721783A.jpeg

On 6/13/2020 at 10:08 AM, MVTArider said:

LRT is still only operating 6a-9p I thought?

Nice to see them bringing back late service on the 54 though. Even with the drop in MSP usage there are still a lot of airport workers who need to use that. I'm still driving or walking instead of using any transit until they relax the 'essential trips only', but I hope those D60 will still run a little after they finally relax that requirement.

Still no word on artic replacements or awarding that 40' electric/diesel contract yet?

Yes, believe that’s correct. Nope, nothing on the contract. 

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On 6/12/2020 at 11:10 PM, hp2ena said:

Per the MTS' East, West, Crosstown RFP, 1628-31 will also be transferred to First Transit beginning tomorrow, to coincide with the 67 being transferred over to First Transit.

I guess they sent 1632 as well 🤷‍♂️

50014766092_e810741e7f_t.jpg Metropolitan Transportation Services 1632 by J. Mc., on Flickr

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Page 36 of the upcoming SW Transit Commission meeting packet says that Metropolitan Council is evaluating bus replacement plans to potentially defer purchases if peak fleet needs fall. I think this could have interesting implications for Metro Transit by allowing them to further/better analyze purchasing electric buses, given the trouble with the C Line electrics over the past winter.

https://swtransit.org/cms-files/6-25-20-commission-packet.pdf

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1448 was on the 84 this afternoon, saw it on layover at Davern/Stewart.

After months of delays the silver ramp at MSP T1/Lindbergh is largely complete. Still a lot of finishing details being worked on but I noticed today the bus stop signage pylons for the new 54 and Blue Line shuttle bays were installed in the new ground transportation center. On a side note, once the new ground transportation center is operational it will finally be possible for a transit rider to get off at T1 and safely walk to the Airport USPS location. Previously you could only access via car or taxi.

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The Women's Transportation Seminar MN Chapter is hosting a webinar where Metro Transit will discuss lessons learned in its first year of operating electric buses. The webinar is on Wednesday, 7/15 from 12pm CT to 1:30pm CT. Registration is free. Link to register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eh6et2n43ffcc4f4

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On 7/8/2020 at 2:38 PM, hp2ena said:

The Women's Transportation Seminar MN Chapter is hosting a webinar where Metro Transit will discuss lessons learned in its first year of operating electric buses. The webinar is on Wednesday, 7/15 from 12pm CT to 1:30pm CT. Registration is free. Link to register: https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eh6et2n43ffcc4f4

The WTS has released a recording of the webinar. Access it at https://files.kljeng.com/?ShareToken=B21923449ABA952E82ADEFFF3279CB4C08CED072 with the password WTSJULY. The videos will be removed at the stroke of midnight on 7/27/2020. The recording is an MP4 video that must be downloaded to your computer. The video is only intended for educational purposes, and shall not be used or recirculated for marketing materials or any profitable purpose. 

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