Category Archives: Public Transit

Automated Vehicles Could Increase Accessibility for Twin Cities East Metro

This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2022.

Connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technology is moving forward, with three pilot shuttle projects on tap in Minnesota this year alone. Rapid developments are leaving little time for planners and policymakers to prepare for the mainstreaming of technology and the evolution of the current transportation system—all while ensuring that transportation equity has a seat in the vehicle.

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Property Values Remain Stable after Opening of Twin Cities Bus Rapid Transit Line

This article was originally published in Catalyst, January 2022.

Arterial bus rapid transit (BRT) has gained momentum in the Twin Cities as a less-expensive alternative to light-rail transit. However, this expansion of BRT has also raised concerns that the new lines will spur an increase in housing values and neighborhood gentrification, potentially displacing low-income residents. A new study eases these concerns: It found that the A Line BRT route encouraged ridership but had no effect on housing values.

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Researchers Study Impact of Transitways on Nearby Roads, Park-and-Ride Choices

This article was originally published in Catalyst, November 2021.

How does a transitway affect automobile traffic on nearby roadways? What factors influence which park-and-ride facilities people choose? These two questions were the focus of a recent two-part project by U of M researchers.

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U Students Offer Ideas For Transit Changes in Carver County

This article was originally published in Catalyst, August 2021.

The transit needs of Carver County, Minnesota, are undergoing a shift driven by changes in population size and demographics. Student researchers from the U of M teamed up with county planners to identify and address these changing needs.

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New Project: Understanding Post-COVID Safety Concerns, Perceptions and Preferences of Transit and Shared Mobility Users in Minnesota

Transit ridership dropped significantly last year in Minneapolis, Duluth and other cities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Researchers Develop Analytics Tool to Predict Gaps in Metro Transit Bus Driver Schedules

This article was originally published in Catalyst, February 2021.

Solving real-world problems sometimes requires a very boots-on-the-ground approach. When Metro Transit began experiencing a bus driver shortage, researchers from the University of Minnesota (U of M) decided to do some first-hand observations of bus dispatcher life in order to develop a tool that could make scheduling easier.

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Transitway Investment Leads to Higher Regional GDP, Job Growth, and Accessibility

This article was originally published in Catalyst, July 2020.

A new study from researchers in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs found that transitway investment adds considerable economic value to metropolitan regions, including the Twin Cities area, and it increases access to the places people need to reach to prepare for, get, and keep a good job.

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Study: Public Transit Benefits Exceed Costs in Rural and Small Urban Areas

The benefits of Minnesota’s rural and small urban transit systems exceed the costs of services, according to a study sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). For every dollar spent to provide transit services in Greater Minnesota, benefits worth $2.51 are shared throughout the communities, according to the “Measuring the Economic Benefits of Rural and Small Urban Transit Services in Greater Minnesota” report.

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Impact of Arterial Bus Rapid Transit on Traffic and Users

Video and statistical analyses showed that arterial bus rapid transit (ABRT) along Snelling Avenue in Minneapolis-St. Paul had no significant impact on traffic volume and wait times at intersections. Survey results demonstrated that users prefer the A Line over local bus service and consider it roughly equivalent to express bus, light rail and commuter rail service. Though ABRT has not converted automobile drivers to transit riders, users enjoy its easy payment format, cleanliness, route service and convenience. This study also provided recommendations for future ABRT line design considerations.

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Bus–Highway Connections Make Transit More Competitive With Driving

Researchers developed a method for associating travel times and travel costs with transit mobility. In an evaluation of bus–highway system interactions, investigators found that park-and-ride lots and managed lanes put suburban and walk-up urban transit options on equal footing. Bus–highway system interactions improve access to job locations and have improved transit access to job sites by about 20 percent compared to automobile access. When wage-related costs are included, the benefit of automobile use over transit use diminishes significantly.

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