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How We Roll: Kelci Stones 

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, May 10, 2019 10:51:00 AM

Kelci Stones, Senior Market Development Specialist

How do you get to work?
I’m a proud user of our Park and Ride stations. I drive, then park at the Fort Snelling Station, then I hop aboard the METRO Blue Line and ride it to Target Field Station. Then, it’s a short walk to the office.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?
It’s 100 percent “me time.” I can read, play Candy Crush, catch up on emails, or listen to Podcasts.  When I’m not doing one of those, the transit nerd in me starts to notice things. I always keep an eye out for things like damaged signs on platforms and inside vehicles, outdated ads that need to be removed, graffiti, and anything that helps keep our transit system looking its best.  If I see anything, I will report it to the proper divisions to follow-up on it. 

How do you get around outside of your commute?
My family uses a little bit of everything: we walk, ride bikes, drive, and take transit.  When we’re not road-tripping out West, our family vacations revolve around public transit. Next Spring, we are heading to Europe where we will rely 100 percent on public transportation.  It will be an exciting adventure and thankfully my kids have had plenty of practice walking city streets with suitcases and backpacks to transit stations!



How We Roll: Anna Flintoft 

Posted by John Komarek | Thursday, March 14, 2019 1:12:00 PM

Many Metro Transit employees are committed to sustainable transportation, riding the bus or train, biking or walking to work and other destinations across the region.

These “How We Roll” profiles illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Anna Flintoft, Manager, Planning and Urban Design Engineering & Facilities

How do you get to work?
As a South Minneapolitan who lives near the 38th Street Station, I use the Blue Line often. And I sometimes choose to drive when it’s more convenient for my family errands.

What do you enjoy most about your commute?  
I love walking to the train in the morning. It’s a little bit of exercise and time to get ready for my day. And, if I have time, I stop at my neighborhood coffee shop along the way. I enjoy a relaxing and quick 20-minute train ride to Target Field then a short walk to the Heywood Offices.

How do you get around outside of your commute?  
We live in a very walk-able, bike-able, transit-rich neighborhood in South Minneapolis. Recently, our family tested the Metropolitan Council’s Travel Behavior Inventory mobile app, which tracked every trip our household made for a week. Afterwards, it was fun to see all the ways we get around: walking, biking, driving, and, of course, public transit.

As my kids continue to grow, their reliance on me driving them is lessening. They are now riding Metro Transit by themselves to lessons and practices. Which is great for all of us: I drive less, they feel more independent, and together we lower our carbon footprint.


How We Roll: Mark Patzloff 

Posted by John Komarek | Friday, March 1, 2019 9:53:00 AM

Why Transit?
I lived in L.A. and Chicago before moving back to the Twin Cities.  In Chicago, I rode CTA daily for 14 years and got used to the routine of taking buses and the “L”.   When we returned to Minneapolis last year, transit was already an ingrained part of my work routine. I enjoy Metro Transit’s system.  It has advantages over Chicago; cleaner and more modern trains and buses plus an abundance of friendly riders. 

Due to not only mine, but our family’s transit use, we’ve had only one family car since 2000 and intend to keep it that way.

How do you get to work?
It’s a breeze. My commute starts with a walk and ends with one and has a bus and a train in-between. From my home in South East Minneapolis, I jump on the number 7 bus, which is on the street where I live and one block away. From there, I arrive at 46th St. Station to take the Blue Line to the Target Field Station in Minneapolis. Then, it’s a short walk to Metro Transit’s Heywood Offices.  

What do you enjoy most about your commute?
I use my commute to unplug and de-stress from the daily noise.  Occasionally, I will use time for music, and reading. Due to the nature of my work, I occasionally take time to take notes about not only my own transit experience, but also to see the experiences of other riders and operators. As an analyst, there’s only so much one can learn from the data on a computer screen.  Understanding a commuter’s and operator’s first-hand experience is still an important part of the job.

How do you get around outside of your commute?
Our neighborhood on South 34th Avenue is like a small village.  My wife Ruth and son Adrian (8) and I often walk to shopping, church and to Lake Nokomis activities.  Otherwise, we bike and/or use the transit options close-by.  I’m rarely driving a car these days. 


How We Roll: Scott Thompson  

Posted by John Komarek | Monday, February 18, 2019 11:38:00 AM

Many Metro Transit employees are committed to sustainable transportation, riding the bus or train, biking or walking to work and other destinations across the region.

These “How We Roll” profiles illustrate how much we have in common with our customers when it comes to how we get around. See you out there!

Scott Thompson, Senior Transit Planner, Service Development Route and System Planning

How do you get to work?
I use transit almost 100 percent for my commute to and from work.  My commute usually begins and ends via SW Transit at the SW Station Park and Ride in Eden Prairie.  When the weather is nice, I walk in from downtown. During the winter, however, I take bus to bus with a transfer to or from the office.  Occasionally I take the Blue Line from 28th Avenue Station Park or the Green Line if I’m headed in one of those directions after work. 

Our department has a friendly competition and a traveling trophy for whomever takes the most transit, bikes, and walks every month.  Last year, I took 752 transit trips, which might sound like a lot, but I have coworkers who have taken even more! 

What do you enjoy most about your commute?
I enjoy getting on the bus in the morning and afternoon and avoiding the headache of driving and dealing with traffic.  It also allows me to an opportunity to get a little exercise walking into work from downtown.  Considering all the transit advantages that we have for buses now including High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes and shoulder lanes for express routes, I’m always surprised by the number people that continue to sit in traffic in their cars as my bus goes past.  The Marquette Avenue (Marq2) transit facilities in downtown Minneapolis is another service and facility improvements that I find has given our customers a better transit experience.

I try to use our service as much as possible for travel during the work day, too.  As I plan service in Saint Paul and the surrounding area, I often use the Green Line to get to meetings. We have terrific tools to plan and schedule our service today. These tools help planners and analysts in my department make better decisions.  However, there is no substitute for getting out and riding our service to personally experience what our customers experience.

Are there any other Metropolitan Council services you find invaluable?
Transit has been important not only to me, but also to my family.  Eight years ago, my mother quit driving.  Without a service like Metro Mobility, our family would have needed to provide all her transportation needs, or she would have needed to live in an assisted living facility much earlier than she did. With a service like Metro Mobility, she was able to enjoy a full 70 years living independently at her home in Richfield. She couldn’t say enough good things about how kind our drivers were to her, and how deeply she appreciated the service.  My family and I will always be grateful.


What is METRO BRT?  

Posted by John Komarek | Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:33:00 PM

What is METRO BRT?
BRT stands for Bus Rapid Transit. It’s a bus service that provides fast, frequent service that eliminates the need for a schedule. METRO refers to any lines that provide this type of service, including light rail.

METRO already has two BRT Lines in operation, the A Line and Red Line. In 2019, METRO will add the C Line. As part of a study, more BRT Lines are in planning stages or are in construction, like the Orange Line.

How do METRO BRT Lines provide fast, frequent service? 
The hallmark of a METRO service is the ability to pay before boarding and all-day service about every 10-15 minutes.

With ticketing on the platform, METRO BRT Lines eliminate a bottleneck when boarding. Now that there’s no need to pay a fare at the front door, customers can use the back doors to board, too.

A real transit advantage of METRO BRT is that the buses “talk” to traffic lights. As a bus approaches, a traffic light knows to safely change signals to favor the bus route. So, METRO BRT buses have shorter waits during a trip.

BRT Lines also have transit advantages like transit-only ramps and some use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes during traffic.

What’s different about METRO BRT stations?
METRO BRT stations provide our customers with real-time information, so you’ll always know when the next bus is coming. Some stations also alert our customers when a bus is about to approach by a pulsing light behind our iconic T logo at the station. These stations also have heat, security cameras, and snow removal services.

No farebox on the bus? How do you enforce fares?
Just like light METRO light rail lines, customers pay their fare at the station. As part of their duties, police and community service officers perform random ticket checks on board BRT Lines. If you find yourself consistently unable to pay full fares, you may qualify for our Transportation Assistance Program (TAP).

Am I getting METRO BRT in my neighborhood?
Follow BRT Line or METRO Line developments online or attend a community meeting in your neighborhood. We hope to see you at one of them!

Want to try a METRO BRT line?
Ride the A Line or Red Line to experience the advantages of METRO BRT. Or, if you’re patient, join us for the launch of the C Line!



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