Arterial Transitway Corridors Study
In 2011-2012, Metro Transit studied 11 urban corridors with high-ridership bus routes that connect major destinations for implementation of enhanced bus service.
Bus rapid transit (BRT) in these corridors would improve travel speed, increase reliability, enhance the ride and create faster connections. Making these things a reality requires eliminating delays: from cutting the time it takes to board, reducing the time buses wait at traffic lights and lessening time spent in traffic congestion.
A rapid bus system would have vehicles that feature low floors and allow boarding from either door. Fares would be paid before boarding – just as on light rail – so more time is spent moving rather than at bus stops. Trips would be frequent with fewer stops per mile. Stations would have enhanced information displays and better lighting and radiant heat.
Planners measured each of the corridors against 17 criteria supporting 5 project goals. See those Corridor Evaluation Measures as well as performance projections in the Technical Result Summary.
After completing the initial study in April 2012, Metro Transit also explored potential for the arterial BRT concept in two additional corridors: Chicago-Fremont, which extends the concept from Chicago Avenue into north Minneapolis on Fremont and Emerson avenues; and a new corridor, Penn Avenue.
Working with the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and local communities, Metro Transit evaluated the feasibility of extending the A Line from Rosedale Center to Rice Creek Commons in Arden Hills. A multi-disciplinary partnership toward potential future BRT is recommended as land use intensification and redevelopment occurs at Rice Creek Commons and along the Snelling-Lexington corridor. Metro Transit continues to plan, evaluate, and manage existing transit service along the extension corridor.
The West 7th Street corridor between downtown St. Paul, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America was initially identified as the B Line, scheduled to open in late 2016. A rapid bus line in that corridor is now on hold as Ramsey County studies transit in the Riverview Corridor for future implementation.