Is it easy for riders to access the Green Line?
July 9, 2014
Green Line celebrations have come and gone, but excitement about this corridor of opportunity remains. Ridership exceeded projections for the second week in a row and usage appears to be growing. (Pioneer Press, July 3). Yet riding the train is only a small part of the transit experience. Users of the rail transit system connect via bike, bus, car and on foot. As we asked in the 2013 Annual Report, is it easy for riders to reach the line?
A number of initiatives are underway to create stronger connections to the Green Line, such as the Frogtown Neighborhoods Program, which received a $50,000 grant from the Funders Collaborative to support biking and walking to and from the Green Line Stations. This partnership between St. Paul Smart Trips and the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center seeks to develop a crew of youth leaders in the Frogtown neighborhood and to increase walking and biking trips in the neighborhood through outreach, infrastructure changes, and education. Watch this short video featuring Tou Saiko Lee and Frogtown Crew member Jeffrey Drayton as they describe their experience with this partnership.
The Friendly Streets Initiative engaged more than 1,500 residents in envisioning how to transform their streets into places that are more safe, inviting and connected for residents and all users of the LRT. Desnoyer Park focused on Pelham Avenue. Saint Anthony Park focused on Raymond Avenue. Summit-University gave special attention to the bridge over I-94 on Victoria Street. And Frogtown neighborhood teamed up on placemaking projects in conjunction with the new Charles Avenue pedestrian-bicycle boulevard.
Community engagement and planning helped win approval of the recently opened Charles Avenue bikeway and leveraged $750,000 in improvements.
Nice Ride bike sharing stations expanded at points up and down the Green Line to provide more options for commuters, shoppers, diners and others reach their destinations via light rail. In 2013, Nice Ride had over 300,000 rides on its system – for a total of more than 900,000 since its launch in 2010.
HOURCAR’s growing network of rent-by-the-hour cars near Green Line stops will make it easier to get around or commute without owning a vehicle.
As new transit connections have only just started running, it’s still too early to tell how easy it will be for riders to connect with the Green Line. Closer-in infrastructure and walkable connections are already in place, with more to come as neighborhoods get involved in envisioning friendlier streets and greenspace that encourage transit use. Still to be seen—how we can expand the access to those living farther from the line and along ‘feeder’ transit routes. The farther out good connections reach, the more riders and better the access to opportunity such as jobs, services, customer traffic, and education.