News & Events
Metro Bus seeks community input for service planning, part of long range transitplan update project
ST. CLOUD (7/22/15) — What do you want bus service to look like in the St. Cloud area? What are your current transportation habits and needs? Metro Bus wants to know because it is in the process of updating its long range transit plan to accommodate the community’s changing transportation needs.
“Because this is a long-range plan, input is needed from a variety of sources to forecast what this community will look like in 10 years,” said Tom Cruikshank, Cruikshank, Managing Director of Operations & Planning, who is leading this project at Metro Bus. “We want to hear from local leaders as well as from those whose daily lives are affected by our transportation system.”
This spring, the St. Cloud Area Planning Organization hired consultants to assist Metro Bus with this project. The consultants and leadership from Metro Bus have met with local city officials and leadership from St. Cloud State University to learn about their immediate and long-term needs and plans. Additional community outreach activities are planned for this fall to get input from those who are current riders as well as the community at large.
“We anticipate receiving a lot of ideas and need feedback from the community to help us prioritize,” said Cruikshank. “For example, what’s more important to you: to change our routes to serve new areas, or to run our service later in the evening on the weekends?”
The community will have the opportunity to weigh in on such topics and give input about their transportation habits with an online survey. A link to the survey can be found on ridemetrobus.com and is available until around August 21. The survey is intended for anyone who lives or travels in St. Cloud, Sartell, Sauk Rapids and Sartell areas.
“It’s just as important for us to hear from people who don’t ride the bus as from those who do,” said Cruikshank. “Maybe in some ways more, because we want to attract new people to our system and current riders will also have a voice with an onboard survey slated for after Labor Day.”
Metro Bus has been asked to explore expanding service to St. Joseph. It would require the city joining the transit commission. To help city officials and residence make an informed decision, Metro Bus will have a special online survey for St. Joseph residents later this summer.
METRO BUS LONG RANGE TRANSIT PLAN UPDATE PROJECT
OUTREACH ACTIVITY TIMELINE 2015
April 2015: Consultants and Metro Bus staff met with leadership from St. Augusta, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, Waite Park & St. Cloud State University.
May: Consultants hosted focus group discussions with business & community leaders
Aug.: Online Community Survey for St. Joseph
Sep.: Onboard Rider Survey
Oct.: Community Meetings to get input on plan and proposed changes
Nov./Dec.: Present plan to public and Metro Bus Board of Commissioners
The project is funded through a grant from the St. Cloud Area Planning Organization. Metro Bus is working with the project consulting firm AECOM, based in New York and SRF Consulting Group, a transportation planning firm based in Minneapolis to assist in the update of the long range transit plan. This plan update is required for federal funding, and is updated every five years.
Metro Bus plans food drive for July 24 at Summertime by George!
ST. CLOUD (6/22/15) — Metro Bus is hosting a community food drive from 5-8 pm Wednesday, July 24 at the Summertime by George! outdoor music festival. The food drive will benefit Catholic Charities Emergency Services and the Salvation Army food shelves.
Cash or non-perishable donations may be brought to the New Compressed Natural Gas New Flyer Metro Bus on the grounds of Summertime by George!.
Free Trolley Wednesday Nights June 10-Aug 26
ST. CLOUD (6/9/15)— Thanks to a sponsorship by Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A., the Metro Bus trolley will run every Wednesday night from 5-9:25 pm for the Summertime by George! event June 10-Aug. 26.
Cost is free to ride.
The trolley will make a loop between downtown and Lake George every 10 minutes, starting at 5 pm from the Metro Bus Transit Center, located at 510 1st St. S., St. Cloud. The last departure will leave at 9:25 pm from Lake George.
In addition to the Transit Center and Lake George, trolley stops are located near most downtown parking lots, River’s Edge Convention Center and Paramount Theater. Trolley stops are identified with
a special “Summertime by George! Free Trolley” sign.
Metro Bus drivers compete at local bus roadeo this weekend
ST. CLOUD (5/29/15)— Fifteen Metro Bus drivers will be competing for local top honors and a chance to compete at the state level.
On Saturday, May 30, 15 Metro Bus drivers will compete in the local bus roadeo held in the K and Q lots at St. Cloud State University. The Roadeo is a chance for drivers to show off their driving skills. Drivers are scored on navigating through an obstacle course of orange road cones with a time limit, testing various real-life driving scenarios. The competition starts at 9 am and is expected to wrap up within two hours.
The top two winners from the Dial-a-Ride small bus division and the top place winner for Fixed Route large bus division qualify to compete in the Minnesota Statewide Bus Roadeo, this year held in St. Cloud at the MnDOT facility on July 18. If Metro Bus drivers win first place at the state level, they will be eligible to compete in their respective national competitions. The national roadeo for large bus division is hosted by the American Public Transportation Association, and the national roadeo small bus division is hosted by the Community Transportation Association of America.
For a glimpse of a past bus roadeo, view the You Tube video posted by Metro Bus: https://youtu.be/FCUzQlhoJ-g