Plans for the region’s second rapid bus line, the C Line, are being shaped by coordinated outreach and engagement efforts that invite residents to think about transit improvements as one of several community-building tools.
For the last several years, Hennepin County planners have worked closely with Metro Transit, the City of Minneapolis and local partners on the Penn Avenue Community Works project.
The partnership was forged in part because Hennepin County plans to reconstruct Penn Avenue between Broadway and Lowry avenues and to repave portions of Penn, Lowry and Dowling avenues at the same time the C Line is under construction along Penn Avenue.
With full funding, C Line construction will begin in 2018. The C Line will be the region’s second rapid bus line, with service between downtown Minneapolis and the Brooklyn Center Transit Center.
Planned light rail extensions will also bring new transit investments to the Penn Avenue corridor.
Beyond these investments, Penn Avenue Community Works is looking at street lighting, green space, transit-oriented development and other improvements that could help make the Penn Avenue corridor more attractive and stimulate economic development.
Engagement efforts occurring this month bring attention to the C Line, which will provide faster and more frequent bus service to customers currently served by Route 19. The customer experience will also be improved through enhanced stations, off-board fare payment and specially-designed buses.
The Council approved station locations in April and will take up a recommendation to align C Line construction and operations with the planned Blue Line Extension later this year.
Scheduled to open in 2021, the Blue Line Extension will bring light rail from Target Field to Brooklyn Center, including two stations on Olson Memorial Highway (Penn Avenue and Van White Memorial Boulevard).
The C Line is scheduled to open on the same stretch of Olson Memorial Highway in early 2019.
Metro Transit is recommending that three temporary C Line stops on Olson Memorial Highway be built and later replaced by permanent shelters on a nearby section of Glenwood Avenue, now served by Route 9, after the Blue Line Extension opens.
Moving the stops to Glenwood Avenue would have no impact on travel time. But the switch would spread the transit investment and could help attract more riders in the future.
The recommendation will be presented for feedback at an open house at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the Harrison Education Center. Staff is also sharing information with neighborhood groups and directly with customers through bus stop and on-board outreach.
> Learn more about the C Line
> Penn Avenue Community Works