A customer boards a northbound Route 6 on France Avenue, where the METRO E Line will operate in the future.
From Charles Carlson, Director of Bus Rapid Transit Projects
Here and across the country, bus ridership is declining. But in corridors where we’ve invested in fast, frequent service, better bus stops and new buses, ridership has risen by about one-third.
The success of the METRO A Line and METRO C Line provide good reason to be optimistic about the future of bus service in our region. Several other reasons to be hopeful have arrived since the start of the year.
Gov. Tim Walz has proposed putting an additional $55 million in state funding toward future BRT projects, including the METRO D Line and METRO B Line. Including this funding in the bonding bill approved by state lawmakers will allow us to substantially replace two of our busiest routes, the 5 and 21, with BRT service.
Locally supported plans to bring BRT service to the Route 6 corridor also moved forward with a key Met Council approval. While planning continues, we now know the METRO E Line will run along Hennepin Avenue, France Avenue and 44th Street, expanding access to the Southdale area and several other key destinations in south Minneapolis and Edina
At the federal level, we received a positive environmental decision on the METRO Gold Line, which will bring the region’s first bus-only roadway to the I-94 corridor between St. Paul and Woodbury. Pending full funding, Gold Line service is expected to begin in 2024.
Construction on the METRO Orange Line, opening in late 2021, is also in full swing along the I-35W corridor south of Minneapolis. Providing reliable, all-day service in one of the state’s busiest roads will significantly expand access to downtown Minneapolis and other job centers.
These encouraging developments demonstrate our region’s commitment to continually improving bus service. But there is much more to do.
Long-term, sustainable funding is needed to invest in the kind of BRT, local and express bus network our growing region needs.
To demonstrate what we can accomplish with more resources, we're updating our plans to improve bus service over the next 30 years. This plan, Network Next, is a crucial step toward building momentum and growing ridership across the region.
Thank you to all those who have already provided input on this plan and gotten involved in our other BRT projects. Continued involvement will not only help make these projects the best they can possibly be, but make our entire bus network better for everyone.
Learn more about Metro Transit's BRT projects