Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bus Service in Shoreview

During the last month or so, I've received a lot of constituent feedback about bus service in Shoreview. For example, seniors in a building on Victoria at Highway 96 have no local transportation service after the cutback of Route 227. There is also no service direct to Minneapolis from Shoreview. After inquiring about prospects for better service, I received this reply from Brian Lamb, General Manager of MetroTransit.

"...When Route 227 was cut back in September 2005, it was operating with a very high subsidy per passenger, in the range of $7.35 to $13.53 per passenger. This is far above both the system-wide average subsidy as well as the average subsidy for this type of suburban service. While we have received two petitions from residents in this part of Shoreview, the fact is that when the Route 227 served those residents until late 2005, not many of them actually used the service on a regular basis.

"Based on our recent analysis of ridership and running time for Route 227, we have determined that any expansion of service on Route 227 to Tanglewood Drive and the Shoreview Community Center would require an additional bus and driver to maintain the current frequency of service. Even with an increase in ridership from the new service area, the added costs would likely result in this route again exceeding regional passenger subsidy standards. Moreover, given the lack of funding for transit service expansion, increasing service in Shoreview would require cutting service somewhere else. For these reasons, we do not plan to expand service on Route 227 in the near future.

"On a positive note, we have determined that we are able to implement a demonstration of direct express service from the Shoreview Community Center to downtown Minneapolis by extending the existing Route 261 that currently starts from the Roseville Skating Center. Two trips each morning and afternoon will be extended to serve Shoreview. This can be accomplished at a relatively low cost and will be implemented in September 2007 on a demonstration basis. We hope that enough riders will use this service that we will be able to continue to operate it. While this does not address all the concerns you have raised, it does represent an increase in transit service for residents of Shoreview..."

Thanks to Met Council member Kris Sanda for assisting me in this effort to find out what options are for Shoreview residents.

Monday, July 2, 2007

And They Even Took the Kitchen Sink...

My most recent copy of the Hugo Citizen reports that thieves stole a stainless steel sink that was eight feet wide from a business in Hugo, just across the line from district 53A. (The Hugo paper is delivered in Lino Lakes.) Police reported that the sink showed up at a local scrap recycler. When the law I worked on goes into effect later this year, people bringing in an item to a scrap recycler will need to leave their contact information and show a driver's license so police can find the thieves.