Above is a picture of the nearly empty MVTA 479 Express which runs from Minneapolis to Rosemount daily. According to the Rosemount City Council, they are giving money but not getting any of the benefits. Well, unfortunately for the Rosemount City Council, I think that they should shut the fuck up already. If your residents are using MVTA services, your city should pay regardless of the number of transit options available to your residents in your own town.
With Dakota County already wasting tons of money on the new Apple Valley transit station while a brand new one at 157th is more or less underutilized, I just don’t see why we should be funding more park-n-rides for a city which obviously has lower ridership for the route that already exists. The Rosemount City Council agrees completely and feels that MVTA should be doing more to bring additional routes to Rosemount and they are backed up by a commenter on the Star Tribune who wrote:
I live in Rosemount…
…but have to drive to Apple Valley/Palomino to take the express downtown every day. Rosemount FINALLY got an express route that only runs from like 6:19-6:48am and leaves downtown at 4:03-4:31pm. I work from 9-6pm, as do MANY other people downtown because the Apple Valley buses I take that late are jam-packed full of suits & ties. The 170th Street Station route is a joke, there is no “direct” express from this transit center to downtown. The Apple Valley/Palomino route has a bus that leaves as late as 8:40am and heads out of downtown as late as 6:30pm. It’s a shame I have to drive there and give the impression that their city is the one who has more riders/needs more service, I would much rather have a Rosemount option and see ridership here increase.
posted by bschurb on Feb. 4, 09 at 6:29 AM
At first glance you would think that what this commenter is saying is valid because Rosemount is paying ~$700k a year into the MVTA tax district and they should have viable transportation routes to downtown Minneapolis, right? Well, they do, they just have to utilize the other transit station options available in the area–the ones that warrant large numbers of routes which are filled by people from a larger area that one individual city cannot support by itself. It’s not like this is such a stretch that no one could possibly fathom driving a few miles away to a parking lot in another town to utilize their facilities. I’m sure not one single person in Rosemount drives to any of the 100 other parking lots in Apple Valley to use any number of chain restaurants, businesses, etc. I just don’t see it as that much more of a stretch to ride the bus, especially when your tax rate will be lower when MVTA isn’t spending tons of dollars funding routes and park-n-rides that are empty.
Just as a quick side note, the bus pictured above is the 479 Express from Minneapolis to 157th St Station and Rosemount park-n-ride. I took that picture at 4:10 PM yesterday and there were ~10 people on the bus (I believe there were 8 people on board but the windows were tinted so I am not 100% sure) at the corner of 3rd Ave S and 6th St S while the 477 which left just minutes before was filled nearly to capacity with another long line already forming for the 477F which arrived only two minutes later. If the ridership was so very high for the Rosemount residents, wouldn’t the two buses that run from there at least be more than half-full each?
Should Rosemount really be upset and threaten to withdraw from the MVTA taxing district because their residents have limited MVTA transit routes originating from Rosemount itself and instead have to drive all the way to Apple Valley to a viable park-n-ride or should the City Council stop the nearly baseless rhetoric? Let’ hear it folks, how do you feel about this one?