Metropolitan Council Needs Help Naming Transit System

By Lindsey Seavert, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — San Francisco has BART, Chicago the “El” and in D.C., everyone hops on the Metro, but what about the Twin Cities?

“I don’t know. I just call it the light rail. Is that catchy enough?” said Megan Soper of Bloomington, who rides the light rail several times a week.

The Metropolitan Council says the next stop is a new name.

Metropolitan Transportation Director Arlene McCarthy says with the Central Corridor underway, the growing transit system needs a new brand.

“We hope it becomes common lingo in the region,” said McCarthy.

The Council is looking to the public for the right words. McCarthy says a new name should be short, catchy and should relate to the region.

“This is common around the country and it is exciting because what is demonstrates is our region here is maturing, we have multiple lines where we need to have a simpler easier to communicate naming system,” said McCarthy.

By 2012, it won’t be enough to call it the light rail. The system will also include faster buses, known as bus rapid transit (BRT) service at stations along I-35W South, Cedar Avenue and other high demand corridors.

The Met Council wants both light rail and bus transit services (LRT/BRT) under one name. It won’t replace Metro Transit, but will instead refer to the growing light rail and rapid bus services.

To make it easier, lines like Hiawatha will soon be known by color, just like in other cities.

“The blue line, red line, gold line for example,” said McCarthy. “Hiawatha means something to us, but not the out-of-town traveler.”

She says lines labeled by color will be user-friendly and easier to navigate.

When it comes to a new name, most light rail riders say they just might have to focus their train of thought.

“Oh goodness, I wouldn’t have a good name off the spot. I don’t know,” said Soper.

“As far as a cute catchy name, I have to think about that one,” said Linda Whittmer, of Apple Valley.

Whatever the winning name, the Met council hopes the destination is the future.

So far, around 50 ideas have been submitted.

The Met Council says those who are interested can submit their ideas here until March 18.

  • Bobbie Lewis


  • C,Dase

    Why don’t you call it the MT.

  • Joe

    How about MPMT = Money pit metro transit

    • scott

      Agree. Another reason “we” are broke. Stupid ideas from stupid people. Government gives us ten million to start. We blow another twenty-five million and what do you get? MPMT!

  • RIII

    I like the MWE (Money Waster Express). I guess they cannot spend our money fast enough not to mention all the small businesses they are putting out of business with this stupidity. Just more Union welfare. The MTC operates at more then a 60% loss every year and guess who pays for it.

    • Assuming too much...?

      Construction hasn’t even started on University Ave (and I’m assuming that’s where you’re talking about when you say small businesses) and you’re already convinced that small businesses are being put out? Don’t even blame the LRT for that…it HASN’T even made its way down those small businesses. You should also look into how bad the economy is too. Maybe that has something to do with small businesses going out of business.

      And that 60% opinion shouldn’t be thrown out without some justification.

  • E M

    Meanwhile the MTC also gets those folks who probably serve your coffee and run your registers to their minimum-wage jobs well enough. I’m sure their tax dollars that are put in the economy is a direct result of that 60% loss. Then again, I guess we don’t need those folks getting to work who cannot afford a vehicle of their own, or are unable to bike because of weather/disability.

    You think you can handle a register job? For min-wage, 40 hours a week with no overtime pay and the worst customers around? Yeah… didn’t think so.

    Enjoy your latte.

  • Victim Du Jour

    We can call the rail system “the twin-key”

  • Irwin Fletcher

    How about the Whimsical Absurd System of Trains Empty, or WASTE…

    • Shorter names, please

      Too long… I think they need something shorter.

  • Tom

    how about the fitswell express

  • Mike

    The Metro

  • Chris K

    1st automobiles come nowhere near paying their true costs through gas & registration taxes so please keep the money wasting & net loss arguments to yourself. The benefit transit provides is an overall reduction in traffic. 2nd how much are they spending to come up with a stupid name? Most that I know call it the Transit. When there is talk of raising fares again(express fares are already $3 during rush hour) why are we wasting money on a naming project. The Met Council is a joke & should require election or have their powers & budget significantly reduced. The system already has a name, Metro Transit.

    • Naming Project Bad, LRT Good.

      Agreed. I’m not a big fan of this naming project and spending hundred-thousands on it, but I do think that this Corridor project is good for the cities. Keep your complaints to yourself and you’ll be happier. Finally a highspeed mass transit that connects St. Paul to Minneapolis.

  • Bill

    Since this line has a propensity for running over people, how about PKE? The People Killer Express

    • rmsmkm

      Also hard not to when people walk in front of the train or think they can beat it.

    • Just sayin'

      Cars also run over people. A LOT more than the light rail has. Can we also call cars the People Killer Express?

  • LRT

    I believe once everyone gets done complaining about the LRT and bus systems they will be the first to ride the new additions. After all, infrastructure creates jobs for our economy

    • It's not all that bad

      LRT, I agree. Centuries ago, we were hauling our kids onto horse-driven carriages. Then Bill, Irwin, E M, Scott, Joe, and similar complain about the waste of money this project is. Bet you guys millions that when cars were affordable and popular and streets and highways were being paved (paid by tax payers), same complainers complaining about how streets were a waste of money. Look at us now–so many cars, not enought room to drive, and then we complain about how the state doesn’t put enough money into fixing potholes and creating more lanes. Think of the new LRT/Bus system as being what your kids will consider as “normal” transit. What’s wrong with advancing in our ability to more efficiently carry mass people from point A to point B?

      Think about it. It creates jobs for engineers and the construction industry. Would you still want to drive years from now when gas prices are a whoppin’ $5/gallon? Just my two cents. But I think it’s sort of a lame move to just complain about how your money is going down the drain, when it’s actually building a better and more efficient infrastructure for your future generations.

  • bert

    How about calling WOM – could mean either Waste of Money or Wasting Our Money.

  • Thinking ahead

    I like how all the complainers are complaining about how this project is a waste of money. When the State or Cities make decisions on projects, especially as big as the Central Corridor, they don’t think about the “now”. It’s the future of the cities that they consider. All you complainers are too money-stricken to realize that it’s the future generations that will thank you for buying them a more efficient transit system. Think of it as a gift to the unborn generations.

  • Kevin

    Debt Cow

  • Pete

    How about “DrainTrain” can you here the big sucking sound of your tax dollars at work. Just like carpool lanes in minnesota we should make them rollerblading lanes. When will minnesotans realize that we are an independent bunch, and don’t go for confining carpool or public transportation restrictions. Just count the number of cars with one person in them when you are driving if you don’t believe it. Not worth the dollars extracted.

  • Jo

    The Kirby, or the Curby.

  • Don

    How about a play on words and just call it the “Trim Tram” (Lite rail).

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