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Minneapolis "t" Buses....


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I figured I would add in the repaints I saw today while out and about and I am including them with the ones you mentioned, TC, so we can just keep updating the list.

707-709, 712,713,737,825,828,831,833,847,854,858

I got to start remembering to bring a pencil and paper to write these down :) I saw more repaints but cannot remember the #'s. I wonder when they repaint the LRT cars?

Add 738, 832, and 852 to that list.

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Holy crazy nuts, man...I've ridden 1016...usually they ran the articulateds on high-ridership express routes, but when I was younger and worked in Downtown Minneapolis, one day 1016 magically showed up on the 12H (old express branch of then-Mpls. Route 12 that went deep out into Minnetonka - now covered by the 664) I rode it a block where it promptly broke down and we all were ejected from the bus and had to pack ourselves into an 1100-series Americana with no AC on the 12J. Fun times!

Those AM Generals had LOUD AC...like, three or four blocks down the street loud.

Excellent find. I'm guessing there were no Americanas lying about, cuz I'm sure you would've snagged a few pics...

If you remember the AM Generals, you must have been here in the '80s, which means I have some bus questions :lol:.

  • Do you remember the Scania buses?
  • Do you remember Medicine Lake Lines? If so, what kind of buses and routes did they run?
  • I have many route questions. Do you recall the routes well? (If not I will try not to ask to many route questions.) :lol:.

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Nice finds! I wonder what Lorenz, First, and Minnesota Coaches have?!

I don't know myself but I just remembered when I was on 94B on Tues. I saw a Minnesota Coach Blue Bird coming down 94, it didn't have a destination sign so I'm guessing shuttle of some sort.

Add 738, 832, and 852 to that list.

Will do. I'll just edit the list I have for now.

If you remember the AM Generals, you must have been here in the '80s, which means I have some bus questions :lol:.
  • Do you remember the Scania buses?
  • Do you remember Medicine Lake Lines? If so, what kind of buses and routes did they run?
  • I have many route questions. Do you recall the routes well? (If not I will try not to ask to many route questions.) :lol:.

What are the Scania buses? My history for MT is mostly recent since I have only been riding for about 3 years :D If you have a picture or site link that would be great.

Also would either of you know if MTC used to operate in the Eagan CedarVale area? I see the old bus stop signs on 445 and I know MVTA was formed as an opt out. What were the reasons for the opt outs anyways? Did communities figure they could handle their own bus routes better or was it a union, garage, or Met Council thing?

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What are the Scania buses? My history for MT is mostly recent since I have only been riding for about 3 years :D If you have a picture or site link that would be great.

Also would either of you know if MTC used to operate in the Eagan CedarVale area? I see the old bus stop signs on 445 and I know MVTA was formed as an opt out. What were the reasons for the opt outs anyways? Did communities figure they could handle their own bus routes better or was it a union, garage, or Met Council thing?

The MVTA was formed in 1990 and started service in January 1991. I will be able to get more info on the pre-MTC routes soon.

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Thanks :) I do have an idea of how some of the routes were back in 2001 since I have an old system map my Dad picked up at one time. I remember one of the LaidLaw drivers talking about how some of the 445 used to be. I also remember some details of the evolution of MT or MTC from the documentary on the Met Council. Other than that I really don't know too much about the past for MT/MTC routes. (Well other than that quite a few were originally streetcar lines. Too bad they couldn't have left streetcars on University BTW.)

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^^ I didn't know Los Angeles had MAN's. At first I thought it could be Denver RTD or Portland Tri-Met.

Yes, L.A. was one of the first customers of the MAN Artic. They were 60ft. buses numbered in the 9200 Series, they were originally delivered in the gold RTD paint scheme and were retired in the early 90s. They spent most of their lives on the Hollywood Blvd. route and at times on the Wilshire blvd. route. Bus World magazine has an issue about the then brand new SCRTD artics.

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Yes, L.A. was one of the first customers of the MAN Artic. They were 60ft. buses numbered in the 9200 Series, they were originally delivered in the gold RTD paint scheme and were retired in the early 90s. They spent most of their lives on the Hollywood Blvd. route and at times on the Wilshire blvd. route. Bus World magazine has an issue about the then brand new SCRTD artics.

The MAN artics are pretty cool. Minneapolis bought 83 of them (1 was a replacement).

Seattle was the first customer with 55-foot MAN's in 1978.

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If you remember the AM Generals, you must have been here in the '80s, which means I have some bus questions :lol:.

I was there from 1987 till late 1993 permanently.

  • Do you remember the Scania buses?


I do! The 1600-series buses...used to be a pain to deal with, according to several drivers I spoke with back then. I believe they were the MTC's first wheelchair-equipped buses. I'd usually see them on the 16 and I remember the idle on them being very low, so when the bus was at a stop the whole frame would shake. I also remember them overheating a lot. I believe they picked up 28 of these?


Do you remember Medicine Lake Lines? If so, what kind of buses and routes did they run?


I do, but not as well as I remember the route numbers. :) I know that MLL ran the U bus service for quite a while (both the 13 intercampus and the 52 commuter routes. They ran a mixture of RTS and New Looks under 6V71 and 8V71 power.


I have many route questions. Do you recall the routes well? (If not I will try not to ask to many route questions.) :lol:.

Gimme a try...as weird as the MTC's routing system was, I tended to keep most of it in memory.

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For exitzero, do you remember where St. Paul route 50 went (the one that didn't go on University), where the old St. Paul 62 went, and the original MVTA and Maple Grove Transit routes?

Let's see: The easy ones are the MGT routes: They had 3 originally, the 94N (current 780), 94P (current 781) and 94R (current 782). Later on they added the 94T (current 784), 95B (former 789) and 95C.

When it was born, the MVTA basically snatched up pretty much every route south of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers away from the MTC. That included pretty much every 35 branch that ran south of the Minnesota (i.e. 35M, 35N, 35R), the local 42s, the express 48s from St. Paul, and the 77 expresses (did you know at one point there were 14 separate route branches on the 77, before they were renumbered?) They added a few routes of their own: the 31s (some sort of weird crosstown express into Bloomington), the 37W, the 72s and the 420s. Of course, this was right about the time that they started getting serious about renumbering, so you saw a lot of mixing up of route numberings. They also began beefing up service to the Mall of America from the south side.

St. Paul Route 50 (not the limited-stop intercity that exists today) I BELIEVE - but am not 100% certain - is covered by today's current route 350. I believe that this was one of the first routes to receive the new numbering scheme.

I'm drawing a blank on old St. Paul route 62 - I keep thinking about an express to Cottage Grove, but I'm pretty sure that was covered by St. Paul route 61.

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Let's see: The easy ones are the MGT routes: They had 3 originally, the 94N (current 780), 94P (current 781) and 94R (current 782). Later on they added the 94T (current 784), 95B (former 789) and 95C.

When it was born, the MVTA basically snatched up pretty much every route south of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers away from the MTC. That included pretty much every 35 branch that ran south of the Minnesota (i.e. 35M, 35N, 35R), the local 42s, the express 48s from St. Paul, and the 77 expresses (did you know at one point there were 14 separate route branches on the 77, before they were renumbered?) They added a few routes of their own: the 31s (some sort of weird crosstown express into Bloomington), the 37W, the 72s and the 420s. Of course, this was right about the time that they started getting serious about renumbering, so you saw a lot of mixing up of route numberings. They also began beefing up service to the Mall of America from the south side.

St. Paul Route 50 (not the limited-stop intercity that exists today) I BELIEVE - but am not 100% certain - is covered by today's current route 350. I believe that this was one of the first routes to receive the new numbering scheme.

I'm drawing a blank on old St. Paul route 62 - I keep thinking about an express to Cottage Grove, but I'm pretty sure that was covered by St. Paul route 61.

Sorry for not providing as much detail earlier:

The 350 (along with 301/302/303/304/351/352) was part of the Woodbury restructure that took place on 3/22/97. These were the first routes to be part of the new numbering scheme. The 100's Roseville Circulators were the first 3 digit routes.

The St. Paul 62 is shown on a Route 14 (Randolph-Maryland) schedule dated 12/05/92. It is shown as continuing along W 7th St. past Randolph.

The 50 I was talking about was shown on a April 1995 System Map, going from St. Paul to the 494 Corridor as an express. I was wondering if you knew more about it.

I also have seen on early 90's schedules a Mpls. 56, Rt. 73 (possibly todays 673) stopping at 7 Corners, A St. Paul Rt. 19 on Snelling (to Eagan), Mpls 3 (Broadway crosstown) that I am wondering if you know more about. Thanks ;)!

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Oh Man... That route 19 Snelling to Eagan would be so awsome now! Eagan Transit Station to University and Snelling with connections to 94 would be cool B) Maybe if they get the Central Corridor up and running... BTW, exitzero, I don't know why but I am sure I heard part of the 445 was served back in the 80's, is that true or just a figment of my imagination?

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Route 19 became MVTA Route 439, which was discontinued on December 4th 2004, when it was decided that transferring from Rt. 84 to 436/446 was the way to go. I doubt Rt. 19 was more than a reverse commute route, but I could be wrong.

In the 80's parts of Dakota County were served by express routes, and local buses that were contracted to Airport Express.

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Yeah it does work well to take 446 to 84 now, I was just thinking a limited stop/express route to Snelling would be neat. Airport express service would make sense, according to the map I have the 444 used to stop at the airport before going to MOA. I am sure most of the areas served by 445/446 would not have had any service back in the 80's since it was mostly farms still. I know Wal-Mart at town Centre wasn't built until 93 and I vaguely remember when Byerly's/Promenade Oaks was still just a field. Stuff has sure changed.

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Sorry for not providing as much detail earlier:

The 350 (along with 301/302/303/304/351/352) was part of the Woodbury restructure that took place on 3/22/97. These were the first routes to be part of the new numbering scheme. The 100's Roseville Circulators were the first 3 digit routes.

The 50 I was talking about was shown on a April 1995 System Map, going from St. Paul to the 494 Corridor as an express. I was wondering if you knew more about it.

Which part of the 494 corridor...by the airport? I vaguely remember something now...did it use I-35E southbound as its egress out of downtown? Something keeps telling me it was an express to the Afton area...

I also have seen on early 90's schedules a Mpls. 56, Rt. 73 (possibly todays 673) stopping at 7 Corners, A St. Paul Rt. 19 on Snelling (to Eagan), Mpls 3 (Broadway crosstown) that I am wondering if you know more about. Thanks ;)!

The 56...I'm currently drawing a blank on. I do remember two renditions of the 73: The route that circulated the University's East and West Bank campuses (including 7 Corners), and the route that predates today's 673. When Route 2 was extended into Dinkytown and service on Route 6 was increased (Route 6 went through Dinkytown on its way to Rosedale), the 73 number was reassigned to the new County Road 73 express route.

I remember the old Mpls. Route 3...just not a lot about it. I recall it having awful service levels...something like every 60 minutes on weekdays and every two to three hours on Saturday.

Can't say I remember St. Paul Route 19 at the moment...

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That is pretty cool, Route 73. Although it seems as MTC was trying to compete with the U's route 13. From old newspaper articles from the Minnesota Daily online, it seems MTC was angry that Medicine Lake Lines got the contract for the 13 and 52. Of course Metro Transit took over most of the U's expresses in 1998, and finished them off completely in 2002 or 2003.

Question about the Dinkytown service. Where did the 2 end before it was extended? A Mpls. 8 schedule from 1992 shows the 8 continuing to 11th St. in Dinkytown (via Franklin, 27th SE, University, 4th SE).

The 50 Express to the 494 area was shown as travelling on I-35E to West 7th Street, then countinuing along 494 to serve the businesses between Nicollet and Normandale. I haven't seen the 1995 map in a few years so my memory is fuzzy.

I also have a question about the old Mpls. 15. Before the MOA was built did this route go to the Met Center or did all trips go to Highland Park or the Airport (via VA/GSA/Ft. Snelling)? I also remember the 1995 map showing various branches in Edina.

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All at once?! :o Nice! hope it was a D40LF and not a D35LF :lol: If the 444 keeps getting more riders I think MVTA will either have to move service up to every 20 minutes or get a couple artics. I wonder if they could pull a couple from the 94/Snelling lot back into service temporarily...

Oh yeah, I did read in a Met Council article that the opt out was from legislation to allow outer ring suburbs to opt out of a centrally provided bus service. I would still like to know what some of the concerns or reasons were though. I'm guessing how the money and service is distributed was one reason for opting out.

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All at once?! :o Nice! hope it was a D40LF and not a D35LF :lol: If the 444 keeps getting more riders I think MVTA will either have to move service up to every 20 minutes or get a couple artics. I wonder if they could pull a couple from the 94/Snelling lot back into service temporarily...

Oh yeah, I did read in a Met Council article that the opt out was from legislation to allow outer ring suburbs to opt out of a centrally provided bus service. I would still like to know what some of the concerns or reasons were though. I'm guessing how the money and service is distributed was one reason for opting out.

The 444 usually only gets 10-35 passegers at once, so this is one of those rare times.

The opt-outs decided that MTC wasn't doing a good enough job, here is a list of opt-outs:

  • Plymouth Metrolink - 1984
  • Shakopee - 1984?-1985?-1986?
  • Southwest Metro Transit - 1986
  • MVTA - 1990
  • Maple Grove Transit - 1990
  • Prior Lake (from MVTA) - 2002

Minnetonka has the authority to opt-out (it has already submitted paperwork, legislative stuff, etc), but has decided not to. They can whenever they want though.

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That is pretty cool, Route 73. Although it seems as MTC was trying to compete with the U's route 13. From old newspaper articles from the Minnesota Daily online, it seems MTC was angry that Medicine Lake Lines got the contract for the 13 and 52. Of course Metro Transit took over most of the U's expresses in 1998, and finished them off completely in 2002 or 2003.

Well, what had happened was, the U Regents had originally rewarded the contract to the MTC again, but the MLL folks filed a grievance saying that the U hadn't complied with federal laws in awarding the contract. But the regents were bound by a Minnesota statute (eventually done away with by then-governor Rudy Perpich) that prevented the award of a contract where the loser would then subsequently have to cut (union) jobs. Once Perpich did away with the law, the regents voted with their pocketbooks - apparently going with MLL would save them over half a mil over similar MTC service. See this old Minnesota Daily article.

Question about the Dinkytown service. Where did the 2 end before it was extended? A Mpls. 8 schedule from 1992 shows the 8 continuing to 11th St. in Dinkytown (via Franklin, 27th SE, University, 4th SE).

The 2 ended service at Oak Street SE and Washington Avenue SE. When the 2 was extended to East Hennepin, it covered a lot of that branch of the 8. They pared the 8 back to 27th and University Ave SE, figuring you could take the 8 to the 16 to the 2, at least, that's my best guess.

The 50 Express to the 494 area was shown as travelling on I-35E to West 7th Street, then countinuing along 494 to serve the businesses between Nicollet and Normandale. I haven't seen the 1995 map in a few years so my memory is fuzzy.

I'm vaguely remembering this route - but it must either have been cut before or either shortly after I arrived.

I also have a question about the old Mpls. 15. Before the MOA was built did this route go to the Met Center or did all trips go to Highland Park or the Airport (via VA/GSA/Ft. Snelling)? I also remember the 1995 map showing various branches in Edina.

I do not believe the 15 went any further south or east than Ft. Snelling prior to the MOA opening. In fact, if I'm correct, I don't believe there was any non-commute service anywhere around the Met Center prior to MOA - whatever service was there was likely covered by old Mpls. Rt. 88 (prior to it and the 89 becoming the Be-Line.)

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I got to ride on the NABI BRT today, it was nice :) Look for coverage on the news channels because there was a lot of reporters there taking video and photos. I got to ride from the Western service center on it over to the Watsons parking lot, and then on the offical ride as well B) It was a hybrid bus with the GM Allison Hybrid system and a real nice sounding CAT engine.

Here are some pics my Dad was able to get with his Camera. (I forgot mine :D )

post-367-1216232252_thumb.jpg post-367-1216232263_thumb.jpg post-367-1216232272_thumb.jpg

post-367-1216232281_thumb.jpg post-367-1216232291_thumb.jpg post-367-1216232301_thumb.jpg

post-367-1216232309_thumb.jpg

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Oh yeah, I did read in a Met Council article that the opt out was from legislation to allow outer ring suburbs to opt out of a centrally provided bus service. I would still like to know what some of the concerns or reasons were though. I'm guessing how the money and service is distributed was one reason for opting out.

Back in the mid 80s, service outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul proper was A W F U L. It was as if the suburbs didn't exist, particularly in the West and South metro. Many, many neighborhoods only saw one or two buses a day, during peak hours. And where you did have service outside of the peak, you'd have service running at most once an hour, oftentimes every 2 hours or more. And you almost always had to go downtown in order to transfer to other routes - no crosstown service to speak of, really.

It was this attitude combined with already low population density in the Twin Cities that made some communities opt out when that choice was made available to them.

Of course, as you can see, only MVTA has really expanded service out of the "downtown commuter" routes...SW Transit has one or two routes that run outside of the peak hour, Plymouth Metrolink is still pretty much a weekday only thing, and Maple Grove Transit still shuts down completely at the weekend.

I wonder if skyrocketing gas prices will really help send a fundamental shift in transit usage in the car-conscious Twin Cities...it is sorely needed.

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