Hennepin Bus Lane Pilot
The goal of the Hennepin Avenue bus-only lane pilot project is to explore an option of how to provide faster, more reliable transit service for the growing Calhoun-Isles communities.
For three days – May 15, 16 and 17 – we will test a bus-only lane northbound at 26th Street in the morning and a southbound bus-only lane at 26th Street in the afternoon. On-street parking will be removed during rush hours to accommodate the bus-only lanes. Data will be collected including public input to determine if additional testing and evaluation is warranted.
Metro Transit, in partnership with the City of Minneapolis, is exploring bus-only lanes on Hennepin Avenue between Franklin Avenue and Uptown Transit Center. Hennepin Avenue has among the best transit service availability – and use – in the Twin Cities. Over 400 bus trips travel the corridor each weekday, providing service to more than 3,300 customers boarding between Franklin Avenue and Lake Street.
Unfortunately, Hennepin Avenue is also one of the slowest corridors in the region. During the rush hour, transit speeds regularly slow to 6 mph. There is also a high level of variability of traffic flow along Hennepin Avenue, particularly when there are delays on I-94.
Metro Transit reviewed data on ridership and travel speeds and is recommending the bus-only pilot lanes split at 26th Street: a northbound lane north of 26th Street during the morning; a southbound lane south of 26th Street during the afternoon (see map right). This data supported approach provides the transit advantage where and when it’s needed most.
The bus-only lane pilot will help Metro Transit answer three key questions:
- Data collection - What are the changes in travel time and reliability?
- Public feedback - What is the reaction from our riders, neighborhood residents, businesses and other property owners?
- Future considerations - Are there other improvement strategies that would complement the bus-only lanes?
On-street parking will be removed during the peak hours to accommodate the curbside bus-only lane.
- From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on the east side of Hennepin Avenue between 26th Street and Franklin Avenue
- From 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the west side of Hennepin Avenue between 26th Street and Uptown Transit Center
Future Hennepin Avenue Rapid Bus: The E Line
Metro Transit is also planning for future rapid bus improvements on Hennepin Avenue. Planning for the E Line will begin with a corridor study in 2018, and could potentially include bus only lanes as explored by this project. Like the existing A Line on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, the E Line will provide faster service, enhanced stations and larger vehicles. This cost-effective way to speed up service substantially improves the customer experience and has proven to attract more people to use transit regularly. This will be Metro Transit’s fifth rapid bus corridor in the region.
Pending full project funding, E Line construction could begin as soon as 2023, in coordination with other street construction projects in the corridor. More information can be found at metrotransit.org/e-line-project.
Conclusion of Pilot
After exploring how to provide faster, more reliable transit service, the Hennepin bus lanes will not proceed at this time. This option will be re-evaluated after the next steps of the design of Hennepin Avenue with our partners at the City of Minneapolis.
Interested in the project? We’d like to hear your thoughts.
Phone: 651-602-1500 (TTY 651-291-0904)
Twitter: @MetroTransitMN; #MetroTransitMN