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Environmental Sub-Topic

Page history last edited by flate026@... 16 years, 2 months ago

Increased Transit Congestion for University Staff and Students.

Since the I-35w bridge collapse, many people including students that go to the University of Minnesota have had their commuting experiences severely affected.  However, the bridge collapse is not the only factor in the equation.  There is also construction for a new football stadium that has led to a decrease in parking spots that used to be easily accessible to students, faculty, and the general public.  Kathleen O' Brien, who is the vice president of the University of Minnesota Services believed that it was detrimental for the University to be part of the solution.  With that said, like any employer, the University of Minnesota has taken necessary steps to reduce congestion.  The University has transferred money from its parking fund to reduce the price of the staff bus pass and added 1500 parking spots on the state fairgrounds so that people could shuttle to Minneapolis.  Along with additional shuttles along Como and University Avenue, the University has developed the magnetic U-Pass which hopefully will help to cut back on the time spent on boarding the bus during express hours. [3]


Our New Light Rail. 

The light rail or Hiawatha line was completely finished by December 4, 2006.  The twelve mile route began at the Warehouse District/ Hennepin Avenue North station and ended at the Mall of America in Bloomington.  In the 2006 Metro Transit report, the ridership on the light rail had nearly doubled what the expected outcome would be with 9.4 million riders, which is approximately 12% of the passengers that use the metro transit system. [1] The preliminary re-build plan proposed for the 35w bridge included a light rail ready constructed bridge, which was a top vote getter for the city.  Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Governer Tim Pawlenty both supported the light rail vision.  The $250 million federal funds did not support such upgrades like a light rail ready bridge re-construct, however legislators have claimed to support the notion of covering the additional cost needed to build the light rail along with the new bridge. [2]


Metro Transit Go Greener Initiative. 

The I-35W Bridge Response Plan intended to increase its express bus service by increasing the number of buses and hiring more mechanics and operators that would drive the routes of the newly added park-and-ride spaces in the north and east metro.  Federal funding of $5 million was expected to pay for the 55 additional buses.  Of the new buses, 18 of them would be hybrid. [4]  The idea behind the hybrid buses is that they will deliver 22 percent better fuel mileage and produce 90 percent fewer emissions than the buses they replace.  Mayor R.T. Rybak acknowledged that approximately 40 percent of commuters that work downtown or attend the University of Minnesota use the Metro Transit System.  The goal of the hybrid buses are to reduce the agency’s dependence on fossil fuel and improve air quality. [5]   




1. Hiawatha Line Wikipedia. Retrieved on 3.29.08

2. State's re-build plan includes light rail Star Tribune.  Retrieved on 3.30.08

3. University Of Minnesota Contributions MPR.  Retrieved on 3.28.08

4. Metropolitan Council Retrieved on 3.16.08

5. Hybrid Buses Minneapolis City of Lakes Retrieved on 3.19.08



Comments (1)

flate026@... said

at 2:57 pm on Apr 21, 2008

I would rename this page. Something like "Transportation", maybe even put this information under a page on transportation? I just moved the second paragraph to be the first so it made more sense as to what was on the page.

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