There will be a lot more buses moving up and down Nicollet Mall soon.
Beginning Monday, April 15, routes that normally serve Hennepin Avenue will be detoured to Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. The detours will remain in place for up to four years as the city rebuilds Hennepin Avenue between Washington Avenue and 12th Street.
City plans call for protected bikeways in each direction and eight enhanced station areas with shelters, real-time signs, heat, light and security features, among other improvements. Utility work is scheduled to begin this spring.
Metro Transit partnered with the city as it developed plans to make the corridor more transit and pedestrian friendly. The new shelter areas will be served by local bus routes and the E Line, a Bus Rapid Transit service that will substantially replace parts of Route 6.
Routes 4, 6, 12, 61 and 141 make nearly 500 trips down Hennepin Avenue each weekday. During the detour, there will be nearly 1,300 trips on Nicollet Mall each weekday.
Passengers board or get off the bus on Hennepin Avenue around 11,000 times each weekday. During the detour, passengers are expected to board or get off the bus along Nicollet Mall around 32,000 times each weekday.
To speed up boardings, riders are encouraged to use Go-To Cards or to purchase fares in advance using Metro Transit's mobile app. Passengers should also exit out the rear door.
Schedules will be adjusted in June. Up to five minutes may be added to routes that move from Hennepin Avenue to Nicollet Mall.
Nicollet Mall was seen as the best detour route because the corridor has new waiting shelters, real time signs and is close to destinations and transfer points.
The Hennepin Avenue detour is one of several service changes occurring due to construction in downtown Minneapolis.
In March, routes 5, 9, 19, 22, 39 and 755 moved from 8th Street South to 6th Street South to allow for construction.
Express routes that serve downtown Minneapolis also continue to be impacted by construction on the Interstate 35W corridor. Ramps between I-35W and 46th Street are scheduled to close this summer. Buses that would normally uses these ramps will get on and off I-35W at Diamond Lake Road.
Need help planning a trip? Call the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333