Transportation Posts

Uber poised to enter Duluth market

Uber logoThe question might not be why Duluth doesn’t have Uber service, but when it will.

“By the end of the year,” said Duluth City Councilor Noah Hobbs. “From my personal end I don’t see anything holding us back from having Uber operating in Duluth.”

Hobbs held the first formal meeting on Tuesday in regard to the ride-hailing web application operating in the city. He met with City Attorney Nate LaCoursiere as a starting point for crafting an ordinance to regulate Uber and other transportation network companies.

Unlike taxicabs, Uber utilizes an online platform to connect drivers in their personal vehicles with riders paying for fares through the touch of a button, no cash. This type of techy transportation is taking place in 476 cities worldwide and counting. Uber started out seven years ago in cities like San Francisco and Chicago, and has recently expanded into smaller communities like Moorhead and Iowa City.

How to see Duluth and Superior on electric cars

How to see Duluth and Superior

The date on this bad boy is 1909. The cover image seems to suggest there was a floating railway perpendicular to the shipping canal where people could watch flaming ships torch the city.

Thank you, DTA

To the driver of the #6/7 running past 20th Avenue East Jefferson Street at 8:45 this morning, who saw me looking dejected as he rolled past the intersection (I was running late trudging through the snow) … and pulled over and waited for me … thank you!

You can read minds.

Northlanders: DLH wants you!

Commentary in the Duluth News Tribune:

Local View: Airport must think outside the box to reduce market leakage

Why do you choose to bus, bike or walk?

In preparation for the fourth annual Bus Bike Walk month in May, Healthy Duluth is now collecting stories from community members who regularly bus, bike or walk as transportation.

Research shows that there are many personal and societal benefits to active transportation including physical fitness and overall well being, an improved economy and fewer vehicle emissions than driving. Many people in the Duluth community utilize these forms of transportation, and by showcasing their stories, the community will be inspired to give people-powered transportation a try.

Click here to share your story and inspire others to Bus Bike Walk.

Inside a Duluth trolley car — Aug. 2, 1922

Duluth Trolley 2-Aug-1922

Electric buses, statewide bike plans and other transportation tidbits

Proterra Light Pole Charging StationThe Duluth Transit Authority has been awarded a $6.3-million grant to purchase six electric buses and a fast-charge station. Duluth was considered an excellent test location for the development of electric vehicle technology because of its challenging cold weather and steep terrain.

The grant comes from the Federal Transit Administrations Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program; the buses and charging station will come from Proterra, a South Carolina company that designs and manufactures zero-emission electric transit vehicles and systems.

The DTA was one of 10 grant applicants that will receive funding. A $1.1-million local share will bring the total project cost to $7.5 million.

The buses and charging station are expected to be available in 2016 and will be integrated into the DTA’s new Multimodal Transportation Center, which is under construction at Michigan Street and Third Avenue West and scheduled to open before the end of 2015.

In other transit news …

Duluth-Superior Transit Company Token

Duluth Transit Company Token Good for one fare

I recently acquired a Duluth-Superior Transit Company token from a friend and thought I’d post it in case anyone can pinpoint the year of its creation or share any interesting details.

35,000 miles of scenic highway routes


Slate ran an article today from “The Vault,” its associated history blog. Titled “A beautiful Depression-era route map makes transcontinental bus travel look glamorous,” it details the history of Pacific Greyhound Lines, the company that eventually became Greyhound. The map above is from 1935.

I was struck by the amount of routes covering Minnesota — all the way up to Thunder Bay makes sense, but no state other than Ohio seems to have the saturation that Minnesota does. What gives?

The End of Streetcars in Duluth

Duluth Tolley 1895

Streetcars ran in Duluth for the last time on July 9, 1939. Streetcar service had been gradually phased out by trolley buses for nearly 20 years before meeting its total demise. For more info check out Zenith City Online’s history of Duluth’s Streetcar Railways and the Duluth Transit Authority’s History of Public Transportation in the Twin Ports timeline.

Trolley at Point of Rocks

Survey: Bike Parking in Duluth’s Multimodal Transit Center

Building on the popularity of its on-bus bike carriers, the DTA wants to gauge local demand for both secure (key fob-access) bike-parking areas and regular bike racks as part of its design for the new multi-modal transit center in downtown Duluth.
Please take a moment to fill out this short survey if you would be interested in using this type of bike storage.

Bike Share

Wouldn’t it be great if we had a bike share like the Cities?
Or like Nashville?

And/or car share like Chicago?

It seems like programs that a community association would be great at administering.

Wish List for New Downtown Bike Station?

The Duluth Transit Authority is on a fast track for construction of its new Multimodal Transportation Center in downtown Duluth.

When it opens, the center will be a hub for multiple modes of transportation, including the main transit station for DTA buses and other inter-city bus lines, public and private parking, a reconstructed walkway between the downtown to the DECC and the first of its kind in Duluth, a bike station.

What this bike station looks like is where your help is needed.

Sidewalks: Who Gets to Decide?

Did you see this front-page article in today’s paper?  Should neighborhood residents be the ones to decide whether or not sidewalks are included as their street is reconstructed? Is it about building a transportation network that serves current and future residents, those who drive and those who don’t?

Caution: Sidewalk fight ahead on Duluth’s Glenwood Street

Walk? Bike? Bus? Don’t own a car at all? We want to hear from you!

I’m making a short video about alternative transportation in the Twin Ports, and I’m looking for people who would be interested in being interviewed. The goal of this project is to show different reasons why people don’t drive, and why it’s important to support alternative transportation (buses, sidewalks, bike routes, etc). I am looking to interview people from all walks of life, including, but not limited to…

– People who walk, bike, or bus by choice
– People who walk, bike, or bus out of necessity
– The youth
– The elderly
– The physically disabled
– People who don’t drive much and have kids
– People who live walking distance to everything they need
– The guy who clears the sidewalks for the City
– Anyone else who might be interesting for this project

If you have something to say and think you would be a good interviewee, or know someone who might fit the bill, please email me at lesem002 @ Interviews will be held between February and May.

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