In this edition...
  • ABC Options Back To The Office
  • FlexPass Survey
  • Nice Ride For All
  • SWLRT Construction Update
  • Video Link to Blue Line LRT Webinar
ABC Ramps' Sustainable Back-To-The-Office Options
Planning a return to the office this summer or fall? Make that commute more sustainable with the ABC Ramps.

It seems unusual that a parking ramp complex would be held up as an example for sustainable commuting. Aren’t parking ramps just to park cars? The ABC Ramps Mobility Hub, however, is mandated to reduce downtown traffic congestion and improve air-quality. To meet those goals, the ABC Ramps Mobility Hub offers transportation options beyond single-occupancy vehicles. In other words, the city’s largest parking complex promotes and incentivizes sustainable commuting options like carpooling, vanpooling, transit, biking, scooting, EV charging stations, and car-share that is skyway connected to downtown. Commuting options translate to less traffic, cleaner air, and fewer emissions.
The ABC Ramps Mobility Hub takes the Swiss army knife approach to commuting. For commuters who drive, carpooling has huge benefits over driving alone. Carpools drive for free in the MnPass lanes (I-394, I-35W, I-35E) and park for just $20 per month with a carpool contract, or $5 per day for occasional carpools. Vanpooling provides a mini-transit option for small groups of commuters that includes low-cost use of a passenger van. Bicyclists have a new bike room in Ramp B, bike locker rental, and showers. Metro Transit operates transit bus hubs out of all three ramps. The Northstar commuter rail, Blue and Green Line LRT station at Target Field is just steps away from Ramp B. If your office is more than a couple of blocks away, complete the last leg of your trip with Nice Ride bike or scooter-share available next to the entrance of each ramp.

Make how you get to work a daily choice. Take the bus or light rail one day and then carpool or bicycle the next day. The ABC Ramps Mobility Hub offers flexibility on those days when you need to drive. A parking contract is not required to have a guaranteed parking spot, make a reservation with the Mpls Parking app.
Take the FlexPass Survey
Returning to the office this summer? Will you still be remote working a couple days a week? Want to ride your new pandemic bike purchase to the office on Fridays? Your 2021 commuting plan should be as flexible as your work life has been this past year. What if a lower cost parking contract offered a way to park some days, ride transit on others, carpool occasionally, or bicycle commute on a nice day? It’s an ala carte parking contract that can change with the day, the weather, or your mood—it would be your choice, and save you money!

The University of Minnesota is conducting a research study about potential flexible parking contract options offered at ABC Ramps in downtown. We want to learn what your ideal contract parking scenario looks like. Participants must be 18 years or older to take a very short FlexPass Market Survey (approximately 5 minutes). How can we build you a better parking contract?
The classic green bikes and a fleet of new e-bikes are ready for summer riding! Nice Ride offers affordable, accessible, and fun transportation options for everyone, regardless of income. Nice Ride's equity program allows those who qualify for certain state or federal assistance programs to sign up.

Nice Ride For All Benefits:
  • $5 Annual Membership
  • Unlimited rides, with the first 45 minutes of each trip included
  • Ebike trips are an extra $0.05/min*
  • Bikes available during riding season throughout service area
  • Pay with credit, debit, or prepaid card

*Ebike parking is free at Nice Ride stations, e-stations, and University of Minnesota bike racks. You’ll be charged $1 for parking an ebike at a public bike rack in the service area.

Nice Ride for All is available to residents of Minneapolis ages 18 and older who qualify for a state or federal assistance program, including Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP), Transit Assistance Program (TAP), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), SSI/SSDI Supplemental Security Income, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Medicaid and FAFSA.

***Come visit us at the "Healing the Earth” Garden Walk in Prospect Park this Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. The Move Minneapolis team will be set up near the Towerside Community Garden (2909 4th Street SE) to promote Nice Ride for All. Stop by to learn about the program and pick up some sweet Nice Ride swag!
Hard Hat Tours Of The Southwest LRT Project
Cantilever box-girder @ Excelsior Blvd / Molly Cummings, Met Council / Beltline Blvd bike bridge
Just behind Target Field starts a 14.5-mile construction zone dotted with cranes, bulldozers, and pile-drivers stretching all the way to Eden Prairie. Minnesota’s largest public works project, the $ 2 billion Southwest LRT, or Green Line Extension, has entered its second year of heavy construction. The light rail line includes 16 new stations, dozens of bridges, and two tunnels.

The construction site was opened to public tours for the first time this month. The guided tours were an opportunity to view the progress at different points of the corridor. Tours were limited to 15 people on a “first come, first served” basis. Guests were outfitted with hardhats and blaze orange vests. The hour-long walking tours proved to be very popular – often filling up within a day or two.
Southwest LRT project community outreach coordinators guided the tours often accompanied by a project engineer to detail the complexities of construction. Outreach Coordinator Nkongo Cigolo explained that the painstaking process of building a segmented unbalanced cantilever box-girder bridge with a 400’ span over Excelsior Blvd in Hopkins is like building a bridge on a massive teeter-totter forty feet in the air. Meanwhile, by the Lake of the Isles canal, a tunnel is being dug that is shoe-horned into a narrow strip of land. The tunnel will take trains below the water table, running parallel to a freight track on one side, and never more than a few dozen feet from houses and apartments buildings on the other. When the tunnel is covered back up a bike/pedestrian trail will run on top of it.

Molly Cummings, Vice Chair, Metropolitan Council Member, District 5, attended the Excelsior Blvd public tour and spoke about the project, “Now that the project has moved ‘above ground’, it is exciting to watch construction of the line progress. To witness the complexity of the project and consider that it is being built in a bustling, 15-mile corridor while keeping access to businesses, homes, roadways, bike trails, etc., with minimal disturbance, is an incredible feat and testament to the designers and builders of the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken in the state. I am excited as we approach the half-way mark and look forward to being a regular rider!”

She added that the popular tours are a great way for people to learn about the project and get their questions answered by the experts. The Project Office is looking into offering another round of tours later this summer and into the fall. In the meantime, sign-up for regular construction updates. The current timeline for the opening of the Southwest LRT is late 2023 or in 2024 with a projected daily ridership of 30,000 by 2030.
What the Blue Line Extension Means for Downtown Business
The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County recently released revised route options for the planned METRO Blue Line Light Rail Extension, also known as the Bottineau Extension, which will connect communities from Downtown Minneapolis northwest to Brooklyn Park. Hear from the Blue Line Rail Extension project team and business leaders from the North Loop. 
Watch the webinar featuring:
  • Sophia Ginis, Manager of Public Involvement, Transit System Dev., Metro Transit
  • Nick Landwer, Design and Engineering Lead, Metro Transit
  • Dan Collison, Executive Director, Nūloop Partners
  • Joanne Kaufman, Executive Director, Warehouse District Business Association
Move Minneapolis is a 501c4 nonprofit that promotes sustainable transportation.

Support is provided by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant in partnership with the United States Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Council, the City of Minneapolis, MnDOT, Hennepin County, and the downtown community.