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Interesting how a handful of the 714X+ 2008 Hybrids are still running regularly while their full diesel counterparts are done for. I wonder if the EPA07 ISL is less reliable than the ISB/Allison Hybrid system, or if it's more to do with the hybrid batteries needing to be used X amount of time after replacement. I rode one of the 7140 series on the 54 recently and it seemed to be in good shape for a 13-14 year old bus.

There aren't any direct replacements coming in for the 11xx units either correct? Granted in the overall fleet scheme some 40' units will be/have been indirectly replaced by 81xx XD60 on the Orange and new D line.

I'm a little surprised they are auctioning off those cutaways with the blue/yellow stripe still on them. Although the logos are removed I'm sure average person on the street would look at one of those and assume it's a 'Metro Transit' handicap bus.

Also for unusual bus assignments 8145 was on the A line working an evening run recently. At least that's better than a regular route Gillig.

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The 5-week Blue Line shutdown between Terminal 2 and Mall of America is now a month overdue. Seems like there hasn't been any communication about why the project is taking longer than expected and how much longer it will take to complete.

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Metro Transit provided a Blue Line update today. 

 

UPDATE (9/19): Buses are replacing Blue Line trains between Mall of America and Airport-Terminal 2 as construction continues. We will provide an update no later than Friday, Sept. 23. We do not expect train service to resume before the end of September. 

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On 9/19/2022 at 12:38 PM, Tcmetro said:

Metro Transit provided a Blue Line update today. 

 

UPDATE (9/19): Buses are replacing Blue Line trains between Mall of America and Airport-Terminal 2 as construction continues. We will provide an update no later than Friday, Sept. 23. We do not expect train service to resume before the end of September. 

They just issued a bulletin today saying test trains will run starting next week.

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Transportation Committee to receive presentation on CIP, which calls for 55 replacement 40s, 185 artic, 17 coach, and 83 electric bus https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Transportation-Committee/2022/September-26,-2022/Info-3-_-CIP.aspx

Management Committee this Wednesday to decide whether or not to join the State of Washington consortium, which means they may be doing near-term procurements with them https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Management-Committee/2022/9-28-22/2022-260-Presenation.aspx

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A number of alerts were posted today for First Transit routes effective October 15th. Routes 27, 705B, and 801 are being suspended, while  routes 225, 227, 615, 705A, and 805 will be reduced to operate every 2 hours on the weekday and Saturday schedules.

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I have to wonder if these continued staffing issues will have any effect on which vendors are considered when the next 5 year contracts are awarded for the MTS regional route zones. (Or if they'll even get bids? Perhaps we may see Metro Transit actually start running some 30 footers and take over a couple routes in the future?) Seems like First is really struggling to retain staff. Meanwhile Schmitty doesn't seem to have any major issues fulfilling their operating needs on the MC regional routes or MVTA, though they do appear to also be slightly shorthanded on occasion. (I.e. canceling the 4FUN route this weekend to accommodate more Ren Fest service)

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I'm surprised Schmitty has been able to keep enough drivers, although they did reduce service pretty significantly on the express routes. First Transit only operated a few express routes and are probably handling a similar amount of service hours as before the pandemic. I also wouldn't be surprised if MT is attracting drivers away from First.

I read an article the other day that base pay at Amazon is going to $19/hr, so I would imagine a good amount of transportation and warehousing jobs are paying $20+/hr. Hard to convince people to drive for transit when they can get similar pay, more stable hours, and not have to deal with the general public at other jobs.

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More buses listed for auction, sorted by fleet number:

7152 is also retired.

The Met Council Transportation Committee will hear about service cuts for October and I believe for December. Waiting for confirmation. 

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The train started running to the MOA again today.

Not surprised about service cuts. Seems the driver shortage is getting worse. Also ridership doesn't seem to be rebounding well. The last straw is going to be the drawing down of the Covid money. I'd imagine a lot of agencies are going to have severe service cuts in the next few years if ridership remains depressed.

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On 10/5/2022 at 9:00 PM, hp2ena said:

The Met Council Transportation Committee will hear about service cuts for October and I believe for December. Waiting for confirmation. 

Here's the slides for the item you mentioned. https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Transportation-Committee/2022/October-10,-2022/Info-1-_-Q4-Svc-Changes-workforce-update.aspx
 

A lot of cuts coming up, but I suppose it's better than unpredictable schedules.

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14 hours ago, Tcmetro said:

Here's the slides for the item you mentioned. https://metrocouncil.org/Council-Meetings/Committees/Transportation-Committee/2022/October-10,-2022/Info-1-_-Q4-Svc-Changes-workforce-update.aspx
 

A lot of cuts coming up, but I suppose it's better than unpredictable schedules.

I watched the presentation on this.

I'm surprised they're cutting Orange right down to every 30 off-peak vs. trying to do 20, but if that's how ridership is then I guess it makes sense. 465 is another good option in that corridor at least between Burnsville/SBTC/Lake/DT.

They mentioned one of their contractor providers is struggling with staffing. (First) However they also mentioned there was additional opportunity to contract some service (7, 65, 70, 75, 852, Red). It'll be interesting to see what contractor they'll be using on these routes. Schmitty contract routes 87, 534, 537, 546 will be trimmed, so if they aren't having as much of a staffing challenge as First that certainly opens some capacity for operating additional routes. However I doubt they would handle all of those. I would assume First would get a few assigned as well.

Of course the real question here is what will be done with Red? Will 1750-1756 just get pawned off on a contractor, or could we see some 29' Gilligs (or cutaways!?) bouncing along on Cedar?

On the contracting note there is also a RFP pending for the Small Bus and Two Rivers area contract. BEaR contract was awarded to Schmitty again back in March.

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Can't seem to get the bid documents as it appears to be password protected. Currently asking around about contractors who will get the routes. 

BTW, 101 was towed out to Louisiana on Saturday. It took a rather circuitous route, stopping in Burnsville, Prior Lake, Jordan, New Prague, and Belle Plaine on its way out. 

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327 arrived today and is currently sitting on the Sabo spur. It will be towed in just after midnight tonight. This is the last car for the Southwest project; although the Met Council did exercise an option for one more, it appears that option is canceled. 

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At the rate of construction, it seems the line will largely be complete next year with the exception of the tunnel. Wonder if we'll get some test trains down to 21st Street in the meantime...

MT article about the Dec 3 changes with some more insight on curtailed routes (542 west of Normandale Lake, 766E Anoka branch, 94F River Park Plaza branch).

https://www.metrotransit.org/service-changes-coming-in-december

 

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Gold Line groundbreaking this Wed at 10am at 6063 Hudson Road in Woodbury. The 219 arrives 10min before event. 
 

Agency will also host Met Councilmembers on a tour of the new Heywood garage next Mon at 2:30p. Should be open to the public, especially if they have quorum, but I’m still waiting on details.

 

UPDATE: It is open to the public.

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102 is on the Sabo spur and will be trucked out of state tomorrow morning. According to permits filed with MnDOT obtained through a public records request, the truck will make its way south on Hiawatha to 35th, 35th to Portland, Portland to Old Shakopee, Old Shakopee to 77 to 13 to Nicollet to CR 42 to 13 to 282 to 21 to 19 to Le Sueur CR 3 to 169 to 25 to 5 to 19 to Sibley County 4 to Sibley County 10 to 15 to 19 to 23 to 59 to 14 all the way out to the South Dakota border.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Schedules for December pick are posted in GTFS and best viewed in Pantograph. Some changes I gleamed:

  • Routes going to First: Red, 7, 70, 852 (interline with 805 on Saturdays)
  • Routes going to Schmitty: 65 (interline with 87 7 days a week), 75
  • Route 5 to once hourly service; 5K and Downtown-only branches remain. Both NB 5 and D Line to detour around GFS via 39th, Park, and 36th to regular route as opposed to current detour of 42nd, Park, and 36th. Route 23 detour to remain as is now
  • All except several 9C trips are being eliminated, 9P coming back Saturday evenings only
  • 23H branch suspended
  • 46E branch suspended
  • 25 being restructured: N branch remains but only in peak direction three trips a day, new branch serves New Brighton, Mounds View, and CR H P&R runs twice a day in each direction. L branch reduced to one in each direction. Rest of branches being suspended
  • 534 interline with 537
  • 645 service to Wayzata only 6x/day during peak periods (and all day weekends), rest of trips will terminate at Plymouth PR
  • 804 being extended from Silver Lake Village to cover 25N branch, service north of Old Hwy 8/1st Ave being suspended
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