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Transportation Headlines Spring 2014 KickIt! Code Word = informed

University of Minnesota Named Gold Bicycle Friendly Business by League of American Bicyclists

Two Spring Contests Offer Great Prizes For Commuters

Sidewalk Closed Near Kolthoff Hall

Campus Pothole Hotline Now Taking Calls!

Paratransit Requests Go Online in March

June 14, 2014: Grand Opening Set for METRO Green Line

New Weekend Circulator Starts Jan. 24; Shuttle Timing Extended for Spring Semester


University of Minnesota Named Gold Bicycle Friendly Business by League of American Bicyclists
Posted 4/23/14

We are at an environmental turning point, and businesses across the country are addressing this by turning to one simple, cost-effective and fun tool: the bicycle.

On Earth Day, the League of American Bicyclists recognized the University of Minnesota with a Gold Bicycle Friendly Business (BFB) award for leading America toward a greener future.  With approximately 15,000 employees, the U of M is the largest employer in the Gold category.

With the announcement of 80 new and renewing BFBs in 29 states and Washington, D.C., the University of Minnesota joins a cutting-edge group of more than 650 local businesses, government agencies and Fortune 500 companies across the United States that are transforming the American workplace.

“Visionary business leaders are recognizing the real-time and long term impact that a culture of bicycling can create,” said Andy Clarke, President of the League of American Bicyclists. “We applaud this new round of businesses for investing in a more sustainable future for the country and a healthier future for their employees.”

“The University of Minnesota is thrilled to climb the ladder from Silver to Gold,” said Steve Sanders, Parking and Transportation Services’ alternative transportation manager.  “We value bicycling as a transportation method.  We grow our biking population with various cycling amenities, including an on-campus bike center and bike-sharing program.”

When employees bike, great things happen: individual carbon footprints are decreased, the community engages in camaraderie and participation counts toward wellness discounts for health care premiums.

This award recognizes the University of Minnesota’s commitment to improving conditions for bicycling through investment in bicycling promotion, education programs, infrastructure and pro-bicycling policies.  The four levels of the award – platinum, gold, silver and bronze – provide a clear incentive for businesses to continuously improve.

The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities campus is the third largest traffic generator in Minnesota.  The U of M’s Parking and Transportation Services department is committed to establishing, maintaining and improving a comprehensive transportation system that reduces congestion, eases accessibility and enhances a friendly university community.

About the Bicycle Friendly America Program
The Bicycle Friendly Community, Bicycle Friendly State, Bicycle Friendly Business and Bicycle Friendly University programs are generously supported by program partner Trek Bicycle. To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, visit

The League of American Bicyclists promotes bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation, and works through advocacy and education for a bicycle-friendly America. The League represents the interests of America's 57 million bicyclists, including its 300,000 members and affiliates. For more information or to support the League, visit


Two Spring Contests Offer Great Prizes For Commuters
Posted: 4/2/14
Everybody loves a Sweepstakes! What will you do to participate?

Twin Cities' Switch My Trip

Switch My Trip logo

If you’re tired of driving to work, dealing with congestion and paying for parking, there’s an opportunity to try another way. Starting April 1, you can participate in the Switch My Trip campaign, sponsored by Metro Transit and the region’s Transportation Management Organizations.

It’s simple: Switch out a trip you’d normally take by driving solo and instead take a bus or train, carpool, bike, walk or telework. Why do it? Well, first of all, for making a pledge, you’re eligible to win cool things. If you make good on your pledge, you’ll be entered in a drawing for a better collection of goodies.

Just one trip, that’s it. You don’t have to sell your car or promise to never drive again. We just want you to switch up the way you get to work or school for a day; we’re pretty sure you’ll like the change.

It’s a win-win, right? You get a little bit more exercise – whether it’s putting in a few more steps walking to and from the transit stop or dusting off that bike – and you can feel good about doing something positive for the planet. And, of course, there are PRIZES, including Amazon, iTunes and Caribou Coffee gifts cards as well as zoo and science museum memberships and various restaurant and grocery store gift cards.

If you’re not sure about switching up your commute, try it when you’re heading out for the evening – carpooling with friends is just more fun! Or switch your trip to taking the bus instead of driving to run errands. Your fare is valid for 2 ½ hours so you can get to the store and back home and only pay once.

Make a plan now to do your part and make the switch. Go to to learn more about the campaign and how to sign up.

See the Pledge Form below! It's easy to pledge!

switch my trip pledge form graphic

See the commute calendar below. Log in and earn chances for more prizes!

Switch My Trip Calendar graphic

Nationwide Zimride by Enterprise’s Earth Day Sweepstakes

Zimride by Enterprise logo

In the month of April, enter to win fun prizes from Zimride at the U of M’s private rideshare community.  Learn more about Zimride.

When you register for a new account or sign in to your Zimride profile, log your commutes within the Commute Calendar between April 1, 2014 and April 30, 2014 to enter to win a Kindle Fire HD, Amazon Gift Cards, and Starbucks Gift Cards. 

Full contest rules, which include prize details, are available online.

Zimrdie commuting calendar graphic


Good luck to everyone! And have fun with your commute!


Sidewalk Closed Near Kolthoff Hall
Posted 3/27/14

The sidewalk along Washington Avenue on the south side of Kolthoff Hall has been closed to allow for deck removal.  

Fencing has been installed to keep pedestrians out of the designated work space.  The detour route is move north around Kolthoff Hall and back down to Washington Avenue to cross the bridge to West Bank.

The sidewalk deck will be demolished by the end of April.  After spring finals, workers will re-construct the west side of the Kolthoff sidewalk, adhering to ADA requirements and implementing some bicycle lane improvements.

The west side sidewalk is expected to re-open late this summer.


Campus Pothole Hotline Now Taking Calls!
Posted: 3/17/14

It’s been a rough winter this year and it’s no surprise that potholes are surfacing all around campus. 

Help PTS by letting us know where you run into potholes (be as specific as possible with the location); we'll gather responses and see what we can do to get them fixed as soon as reasonably possible.

Be part of the solution! Call the Pothole Hotline at 612-626-7578 with on-campus details.

Thanks for helping PTS to improve our community. Happy spring and smooth travels.


Paratransit Requests Go Online in March
Posted: 3/17/14

Anyone with a temporary or permanent disability can now request a pick-up online at

The U's Paratransit Service is a curb-to-curb transport service provided free of charge to persons with temporary or permanent physical disabilities. The service operates on the Twin Cities campus.

Appointments can still be made by phone at 612-624-8338 (same as before), but the new online system is convenient and easy to use. 

Announcements will be made in Brief and other e-publications in the next couple of weeks.


June 14, 2014: Grand Opening Set for METRO Green Line
Posted 1/21/14

The METRO Green Line (light rail) starts running on Saturday, June 14, with free rides and day-long community celebrations.

The 11-mile corridor between the two downtowns links Union Depot in St. Paul’s Lowertown to the State Capitol complex, Midway, University of Minnesota and Target Field.  As the region’s second light rail line, the METRO Green Line will connect to the Blue Line (Hiawatha) at Downtown East Station.

The mid-June opening will allow the line to serve baseball fans attending Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Target Field in July.

The opening is nearly six months earlier than required by the Federal Transit Administration, which is funding half the $957 million project. The project is on budget.

The project created 5,445 construction jobs and $252 million in construction payroll, with workers coming from more than 60 Minnesota counties ranging from the Canadian border to Iowa. The METRO Green Line also created 177 permanent operations and maintenance jobs for downtown St. Paul and has spurred more than $1.7 billion in development along the line.

Event planning for opening day is underway, with the help of the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, and involvement of the surrounding communities and businesses. Following a 9 a.m. speeches and ceremonial ribbon cutting at Union Depot, festivities and events for all ages are being planned from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at Union Depot Station, Central Station, Western Avenue Station, Victoria Street Station, Hamline Avenue Station, Raymond Avenue Station, Stadium Village Station and West Bank Station.  Metro Transit will offer free rides on the METRO Green Line and all other rail and bus routes June 14-15.

Station-area events will reflect the distinct flavor of the various neighborhoods and communities on the corridor and provide an opportunity for riders to experience what the communities have to offer.

Updates to the June 14th celebration will be posted at To view a fact sheet on the project, click here.

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Council runs the regional bus and light rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.


New Weekend Circulator Starts Jan. 24; Shuttle Timing Extended for Spring Semester
Posted 1/6/14; updated w/ map link on 1/15/14

On Friday, January 24, the U of M will start running a new campus bus route called the Weekend Circulator. 

This bus will run on Fridays from 6:30 p.m. until 2 a.m.; Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.; and Sundays from 9:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.

The Weekend Circulator will travel between East and West Bank.  On West Bank, the bus will stop at Willey Hall; Washington Avenue and Cedar Avenues (Seven Corners); and 2nd Street and 19th Avenue (near Mondale Hall).  It will cross the 10th Avenue Bridge and turn on University Avenue to stop at Sanford Hall.  The bus will turn onto Pleasant Street to stop at the Jones-Eddy Circle and return to University Avenue to stop at the Rec Center.  It will loop around the stadium stopping at the Thompson Center, the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, and McNamara Center.  The bus will travel down Oak Street and stop at Territorial Hall and on Fulton Street between Frontier and Pioneer Halls.  It will stop at the Weisman and loop around to cross the Washington Avenue Bridge as it begins the route again at Willey Hall. A map of this route is online now.

Below, you will find a summary of all campus shuttle routes during the academic semester:

If you have any questions, please call Parking and Transportation Services at 612-626-PARK (7275).




Media Contact:

Jacqueline Brudlos

Want to know more about light rail on campus?

Visit the Central Corridor Website.

Look Ahead Into 2013-14

Interested in Campus
Crime Alerts?

Check out the U of M Police Department's Alerts page.

PTS in the News!

Minneapolis patches pothole fund with $1 million

MN Daily / April 15, 2014

This year’s harsh winter conditions have created massive potholes throughout Minneapolis, prompting City Council members to pass a budget measure Friday to help speed up repairs. READ MORE

Minnesota's Dinkytown Greenway

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy / April 2014 Trail of the Month Recurring Feature

"It isn't the longest bike trail in the city, but it is probably one of the most important," said Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak... READ MORE

Transit use hits historic levels in metro, nationally

Star Tribune / March 24, 2014

Each weekday morning, as befits the name, Tim Busse climbs on a bus. It’s a route he calls “wildly successful” — about half full when it leaves Burnsville, but packed every morning after its Bloomington stop. READ MORE

Simulated light-rail derailment planned Tuesday at U of M

Pioneer Press / March 17, 2014

Metro Transit, the University of Minnesota and public safety agencies will simulate a light-rail train derailment on the U's Minneapolis campus Tuesday. READ MORE

LRT derailment simulation to hit Stadium Village

MN Daily / March 13, 2014

Smoke, first responders and volunteers faking injuries will fill Stadium Village early  on Tuesday, March 18, during a Light Rail Transit derailment simulation, while many University of Minnesota students are away on spring break. READ MORE

The U area doesn’t need additional parking

MN Daily / March 3, 2014

As a columnist, I have a great opportunity to present opinions that college-age readers might not otherwise consider. In a similar light, readers have an opportunity to read opinions from multiple columnists in this paper. READ MORE

MSA, students push to change bus routes

MN Daily / February 26, 2014

The Minnesota Student Association Facilities, Housing and Transit Committee passed a resolution Tuesday urging the University of Minnesota to revise its campus bus routes. READ MORE

Gophers prefer crossing campus above ground

MN Daily / February 18, 2014

Despite their burrowing namesake, few University of Minnesota students use the school’s Gopher Way tunnel and skyway system. READ MORE

Campus Connector involved in accident

MN Daily / February 10, 2014

A University of Minnesota Campus Connector was involved in an accident Friday morning at the intersection of the University Transitway and Como Avenue near the St. Paul campus. READ MORE

Weekend Circulator makes its debut

MN Daily / January 27, 2014

The new Weekend Circulator bus route linking the University of Minnesota’s East and West banks began running this weekend, giving students free rides through the night. READ MORE

Biking initiative ends, projects continue

MN Daily / November 26, 2013

The Twin Cities was one of four metro areas in the country to receive a sizable federal grant nearly seven years ago for promoting non-motorized transportation — an initiative that is finishing its final lap. READ MORE