NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Sunday June 16th 2019

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December 2018 service changes and a comparison between Minneapolis and Milwaukee transit

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

The last “pick” of the year is upon us. A “pick” is when Metro Transit changes bus schedules and drivers are assigned new routes. This service change goes into effect the 1st of December 2018 and includes the following adjustments that will affect the Phillips Community:

• Route 5 will have trips reinstated that were eliminated during the driver shortage.

• Route 21 will run slightly less often.

• Route 53 will have one trip in each direction reinstated.

• Route 67 will have one weekday morning trip reinstated; however, there will be significant cuts in both the morning and evening seven days a week.

In addition, please be reminded that special schedules are in effect on Black Friday, Christmas Eve, and New Year’s Eve. Black Friday and Christmas Eve are usually a Saturday schedule plus a few rush-hour trips on commuter routes. New Year’s Eve is usually almost a regular weekday schedule minus a few rush-hour trips. Non-rush-hour fares are charged all day on Black Friday and Christmas Eve. 

In other news, I recently had the opportunity to visit Milwaukee for two days. While I didn’t have time to ride the buses there, I did pay attention to their system as best I could. One glaring difference between their transit system and ours is theirs is run by Milwaukee County, whereas we have the Metropolitan Council, which includes seven counties. Unfortunately, metropolitan Milwaukee extends beyond the county line to the north and to the west. While the Milwaukee County Transit System does run buses to Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties, except for the route to Brookfield Mall, it is mostly commuter service. For example, I went to Costco in New Berlin. Near the Costco was a bus stop sign for MCTS Route 6. Unfortunately, that bus is aimed mainly at industrial workers and only runs at shift change times. This is in a busy area comparable to Eagan. 

The contrast served as a good reminder how lucky we are in the Twin Cities to have the transit system we do.

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