How fast is Twin Cities LRT compared to other cities?

Courtesy of

Correction: The chart accompanying this article has been updated to accurately reflect the average speed of the Blue Line. logo

Yesterday MPR said that during Green Line testing, trains were running an average of 67 minutes between the downtowns. The planned time is 40 minutes, and according to the article, signal prioritization is still being worked out, which could have an impact.  I wondered whether this was slow for LRT (it’s slower than the current 16 bus service), which brings me to the chart of the day.

I collected a sample of LRT running speeds from various sources – mostly schedules combined with google maps measurements of distances – to produce this chart.  I think it captures a representative sample of modern American LRT systems.  It does have a few international examples, but could use more.  I tried to use mostly line segments that ran from a downtown to the end of the line.  Few cities have the “bar bells” of urban density that Minneapolis and Saint Paul have on each end.  If you want to see the data, which includes distances, go here.

In the Twin Cities, we seem to have some of the slowest LRT, but also some of the fastest (if Bottineau and Southwest perform as planned).  Of course speed is not accessibility, but the former impacts the latter.

Light rail thumbnail image courtesy of Metro Transit/Drew Kerr.

This post was written by Brendon Slotterback and originally published on Follow on Twitter: @streetsmn.

If you blog and would like your work considered for Minnesota Blog Cabin, please submit our registration form.

You can also learn about all our free newsletter options.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Brendon Slotterback on 05/15/2014 - 05:03 pm.

    Data has been updated!

    After comments from Metro Transit, I’ve updated data on the blue line:

Leave a Reply