A splash of red paint will help buses move a little easier through a busy downtown Minneapolis corridor.
Crews from the City of Minneapolis this month began marking the city’s newest bus lane by applying red paint to a nine-block stretch of Seventh Street, between Chicago and Hennepin avenues, where buses are frequently held up by traffic.
Several busy routes are now using the bus lane, including the 5, 14, 22 and METRO C Line. The METRO D line will use this bus lane when it opens next year.
This will be the third installment of bus lanes in the City of Minneapolis.
Bus lanes are in use on Hennepin Avenue, between the Uptown Transit Station and Franklin Avenue, during weekday peak periods, and on a small portion of southbound Chicago Avenue near the Chicago-Lake Transit Station. On Hennepin Avenue, travel times have been reduced by more than 15% since bus lanes went in.
“Bus lanes are a cost-effective and proven way to improve the transit experience,” said Michael Mechtenberg, manager of speed and reliability.
Plans to bring bus lanes to other congested corridors are in the works. Decisions about where to put bus lanes are being informed not just by the degree of delays but by the ability to improve service on routes where customers are more likely to be people of color or low-income.
Portions of Hennepin and Lyndale avenues, 6th Street, 8th Street, and Franklin Avenue are among the options being considered.