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Memo

Date: October 16, 2016


To: Brian J. Lamb
From: Albert Danielson
Topic: Proposal to study the feasibility of creating public transit routes that goes from the inner
cities to the outer suburbs
Purpose
Propose a study on if it is feasible to build new express public transit routes that navigate from
the inner Twin Cities to the outer Twin City suburban areas. After the permission has been
granted, I will conduct the research. Upon conclusion, I will produce a feasibility report that will
be submitted by November 27, 2016.
Summary
With more people moving into, being born in, and moving around the Twin Cities area, there
needs to be a change in the form of transportation people are currently taking. St. Paul and
Minneapolis are forecasted to grow by 10% in population by 2020, and an additional 5% by
2030, totaling approximately 768,300 people (Metro Council, 2015). Metro Transit is the main
company that oversees the 132 combined buses and rail routes throughout the Twin Cities, but
there is room for improvement in regards to moving people between the inner Twin Cities and
the outer suburbs, which Metro Transit (2016) has been focusing on over the last few years.
With the current transit system in place, there are times and places that are difficult, such as
being forced to leave the previous night or last weekday, to reach from one section to the other.
The current infrastructure is insufficient in maintaining such limitations, and with the current
growth in population and potential drivers, more people need to be able to use public transit
effectively. This means all routes should be able to get to where they need to go from where they
are and be able to arrive at a time that, at the earliest, would allow them to function as part of the
workforce.
I propose to create new express transit routes between the inner city to the suburbs. To begin, I
will research the effects express routes have had in other cities. I will then research the cost to
create new and reform current routes. I will also determine the best mode of transportation to
take between express bus routes and rail lines.
The report is expected to be submitted by November 27, 2016.
Introduction
Public transportation use is on the rise in the Twin Cities (Padilla, 2016). With the younger
generation looking to lower their negative environmental impact while also saving money, more
and more people are turning to public transit for their new mode of transportation (Editorial
Board, 2015). The Minnesota Council (2015) has predicted that there will over 650,000 people
inhabiting the Minneapolis and St. Paul area in 2020, with 30,000 more forecasted for 2030. This
means there more people trying to get to the same places, which leads to congestion on the
roadways when public transit is not being used. Taking into account events that come along such

as weekly Minnesota Vikings game and frequent events every week, with almost 400,000 rides
on the first of September, 2016 (Harlow, 2016), the need for more available public transit routes
becomes apparent.
In the best interest of the environment with regards to greenhouse gases and the economy in
terms of efficient use of time, more people need to be able to effectively use public
transportation. The Metro Transit system currently functions at a relatively sufficient level, but
there is room for improvement. For people traveling via public transit from the inner Twin-Cities
to the outer suburbs, such as Maple Plain, the system is set up where they would have to take a
bus at 4pm on a Friday to arrive in two hours later to be in town for work on Saturday. Working
on Monday creates an even worse scenario as no matter what time of arrival would have been
necessary, the only possible date of arrival would be Friday night on the same route as those
traveling to work for Saturday.
Due to the current formatting of public transit routes, these people who travel between the inner
cities and outer suburbs currently either have to drive or find a different job, redirecting and
limiting their opportunities. With a route that quickly navigates from the inner city to outer cities,
there is more potential for economic and personal growth. An example of this is the new A line, a
bus that quickly navigates between Rosedale Center and 46th Street Station. While a still a new
route, there were 6,100 rides during the Minnesota State Fair (Harlow, 2015). Considering that
Metro Transit buses an average 276,408 times each weekday with 132 routes and multiple buses
on each route constantly running throughout the day, this shows the impact express route lines
have on the economy (Metro Transit, 2016).
There is a trend of more people using public transit along with a growth in population throughout
the state of Minnesota, especially in the Twin Cities (Metro Transit, 2015). The creation of new
express routes appears to be a financially responsible decision that would become more
profitable as more people are born in and migrate to the Twin Cities are. Express routes will
entice people who currently and initially plan on driving every day to be more environmentally
friendly and financially solvent. Siedler stated that with the currently expected growth of drivers,
the current infrastructure would not be sustainable (2014, p. 2).
If the current infrastructure is not sustainable, then change has to occur. Assuming a public
transit renovation is feasible and social trends continue to favor being financially responsible and
environmentally friendly, change has to happen. The next step is deciding when and how to make
the best decisions for the stakeholders. Further research will allow me to provide insight on what
would be the best decision to make with regards to the people of the Twin Cities metropolitan
area and the company.
Completed Research
To date, I have conducted the following preliminary research to gain information for the study. I
have found:
The growth trend of ridership on the Metro Transit
The growth trend of people living in the Twin City metropolitan area
The current funding of the public transit system in the Twin Cities
The trending rational behind the increase in public transit use

The effectiveness of express routes compared to regular routes

Proposed Research
Upon approval to research, I will research:
The correlation between new public transit routes and congestion
The effects express routes have had in other cities
The costs to create a new express bus and rail system in the Twin Cities
The costs to reform the current bus systems to allow the formation of express bus routes
The cost and usage comparison between express bus routes and rail
Criteria
Upon conclusion of the study, I will make recommendations based on the following criteria:
Is there support from the inner Twin Cities for the creation and optimization of public
transit connection to the outer suburbs?
Would creating an express route (bus/rail) convert drivers to use public transit more
often?
Is there a need for public transit between the inner Twin Cities and the outer suburbs?
Criteria and Qualifications
I have been a student at Hamline University a for four years. As a business major, I provide a
perspective and understanding of the financial and logistical feasibility of the study. As a studentathlete, I am dedicated to putting the work in to find ways to improve the situation that is
relevant to my life. I am a frequent user of public transit, especially the local Metro Transit bus
and rail system, with buses being my main mode of intercity transportation. This experience
provides anecdotal information that can be useful for the study.
Completion Schedule
Objective
Survey Distribution
Progress Report
Graphics
Draft Report
Report Submission
Presentation

Completion Date
October 23, 2016
October 30, 2016
November 6, 2016
November 13, 2016
November 27, 2016
November 27, 2016

References
Brands, T., Cook, J., de Romph, E., & Veitch, T. (2014). Modelling public transport route
choice, with multiple access and egress modes. Transportation Research Procedia, 1(1),
12-23.

Editorial Board. (2015, August 3). Numbers tell the story of light-rails steady growth in Twin
Cities. Star Tribune. Retrieved from
http://www.startribune.com/numbers-tell-the-story-of-light-rail-s-steady-growth-in-twin
-cities/320534392/
Favre, B. (2014). Introduction to sustainable transports. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Harlow, T. (2016, September 9). Vikings, Twins, traffic fears help Metro Transit shatter single
day ridership record. Star Tribune. Retrieved from
http://www.startribune.com/vikings-twins-traffic-fears-help-metro-transit-shatter-singleday-ridership-record/392920421/
Metro Transit. (2016). Metro Transit 2015 Facts. [Graphs display statistics on ridership using
Metro Transit services]. Retrieved from
http://www.metrotransit.org/facts
Metro Transit (2015). Metro Transit 2014 ridership is highest in more than three decades [Press
release]. Retrieved from
http://www.metrotransit.org/metro-transit-2014-ridership-is-highest-in-more-than-threedecades
Metropolitan Council. (2015). Demographics and economic forecast, July 2015. [Data File].
Retrieved from
https://metrocouncil.org/Data-and-Maps/Data/Census-Forecasts-Estimates.aspx
Minnesota Revenue, Sales and Use Tax Division. (2016). Transit Improvement Tax Area Guide.
Retrieved from
http://www.revenue.state.mn.us/businesses/sut/Documents/TransitImprovement_Zip_C
ode_Guide.pdf

Padilla, H. (2016). Metro Transit ridership tops 85.8 million in 2015. Retrieved from
https://www.metrotransit.org/metro-transit-ridership-tops-858-million-in-2015
Siedler, C. E. (2014). Can bus rapid transit be a sustainable means of public transport in fast
growing cities? Empirical evidence in the case of Oslo. Transportation Research
Procedia, 1(1), 109-120.