Faster transit is coming to the Route 21 Corridor
The METRO B Line is a planned bus rapid transit (BRT) line that will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the Route 21 corridor along Lake Street and Marshall Avenue. Bus rapid transit is a package of transit enhancements that adds up to a faster trip and an improved experience on Metro Transit’s busiest bus routes.
Each weekday, customers take more than 10,000 rides on Route 21, Metro Transit’s second busiest bus route. Buses carry approximately 2% of people traveling by vehicle on Lake Street today and make up less than 2% of vehicle traffic. But Lake Street is also one of the slowest transit corridors in the region. During rush hours, buses regularly slow to average speeds of 8 miles per hour. Frequent stops, lines of customers waiting to board, and red lights mean that buses are moving less than half the time.
BRT brings better amenities, faster service and a more comfortable ride.
- Faster, frequent service
- Pay before boarding for faster service
- Neighborhood-scale stations with amenities
- Enhanced security
- Larger & specialized vehicles
Based on initial planning work, Metro Transit has developed preliminary recommendations for the METRO B Line bus rapid transit corridor.:
- Initial plans called for the METRO B Line to only go as far east as Snelling Avenue. The B Line is now recommended to extend to downtown St. Paul, serving Lake Street, Marshall Avenue, and Selby Avenue
- In order to provide a faster and more reliable experience, the METRO B Line is planned to follow a more direct route than the Route 21 does today and will connect with the METRO A Line at the Snelling & Dayton station.
- The B Line will stop less frequently than the Route 21 at improved stations with heat, light, and other amenities. Preliminary recommendations for the B Line include stops at 33 locations with an average of 2-3 stops per mile.
- In addition to B Line service, Route 21 is recommended to continue running on Lake Street between Hennepin Avenue and Minnehaha Avenue every 30 minutes. We are also continuing to study additional potential local bus service between Selby Avenue and the Midway area.
Planning activities to determine essential project details are underway and will continue through the beginning of 2020. Station design will occur in 2020-2021 with construction anticipated to begin in 2022, pending full funding.
Learn more about the METRO BRT network
The B Line is planned to be the fourth of several planned BRT lines that will bring faster, frequent service to the region’s busiest transit corridors.
The region’s first arterial BRT line, the A Line, opened in 2016 and has boosted corridor ridership by about a third. Service on the METRO C Line, serving Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center, launched in 2019. The D Line, serving the Route 5 corridor from Bloomington to Brooklyn Center, is currently in design, targeted for construction to begin soon. The E Line, serving the Route 6 corridor on Hennepin Avenue is in the study phase, with construction expected in 2023, pending funding.
A completed BRT network would cover 100 miles and include 400 enhanced stations, directly serving about 20% of the region’s residents and more than 230,000 jobs. BRT lines are an essential part of growing bus ridership, with the potential to see an estimated 160,000 average weekday boardings by 2030, representing about a third of total bus ridership.
Learn more at metrotransit.org/abrt.
Community Outreach Coordinator
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