NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Saturday April 20th 2019

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‘Transit’ Archives

Transit: Route changes and the luck of the Irish

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON Here we are, coming up on the Spring “pick.” For those of you not familiar with the term, that is when Metro Transit drivers get to pick their piece of work for the next three months, in order of seniority. That is also when route and schedule changes are made, unless a state of emergency trumps waiting for the next [...]

Transit: The ghosts of transit past

Transit: The ghosts of transit past

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON Since The Alley is starting off on a new foot, I thought this was a good time to discuss the past of our transit system. I was a child in the 1970s and a teenager in the early 1980s, when the Metropolitan Transit Commission buses were known as the “Big Red” for their color scheme. MTC ads called it the [...]

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 [...]

Transit – The need for speed

Transit – The need for speed

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON There are two pieces of good transit news in the Twin Cities this month: one directly impacts the Phillips Community, and the other mostly benefits those who commute to the southern suburbs. In the July issue of The Alley, I mentioned that Route 2 (Franklin Avenue) was going to be made faster due to a decrease in the [...]

Metro Transit New fareboxes for old

Metro Transit New fareboxes for old

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON The story of “Aladdin’s Lamp” contains the phrase, “New lamps for old!” Well, two of my bus-riding experiences last month make me think of “New fareboxes for old!” The first one was on Route 10, Central Avenue Northeast. The bus had a new, very sophisticated farebox. There was even a smart card reader [...]

Metro Transit – Bus driver shortage causes service cuts

Metro Transit – Bus driver shortage causes service cuts

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON The 18 August 2018 schedule change at Metro Transit is more complicated than usual because there was an emergency 1% service cut made on 31 July. Unfortunately, service cuts are nothing new to public transit. However, this last one was made for an unprecedented reason: a shortage of bus drivers. Usually, service cuts happen [...]

Metro Transit – You’re voting for an agenda

Metro Transit – You’re voting for an agenda

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON This is another slow month for transit news in the Phillips Community. I was originally going to write about the Gold Line, a Bus Rapid Transit line being planned to operate on the East Side of Saint Paul, when I was inspired to change the topic to something more geographically universal. The primary elections are coming [...]

Metro Transit – The squeaky wheel gets the grease

Metro Transit – The squeaky wheel gets the grease

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON Another slow month in the transit world… However, there was one interesting piece of news for Route 2 riders. I went to an “open house” in June regarding proposed improvements to Franklin Avenue bus service, including cutting back on the number of stops to make the bus go faster, installing new (presumably better) bus [...]

Metro Transit

Metro Transit

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON One of the sad things about writing for a monthly paper is that even when you have early access to inside information, you rarely get the “scoop” because it’s publicly available before your publication hits the stands…. That said, this month’s big transit news is the quarterly service change, which was originally [...]

Metro Transit – How about FREE public transit as a great alternative in blizzards?

Metro Transit – How about FREE public transit as a great alternative in blizzards?

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON Our weather hasn’t behaved itself so far this year: March went in like a lamb and out like a lion, and the April showers that are supposed to bring May flowers came in frozen form. In adverse weather, public transit shines as an alternative to getting in your car and risking an accident. Of course, the best thing to do [...]

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