C Line (Penn Avenue bus rapid transit service)
Frequently Asked Questions
The C Line is bus rapid transit service, a new kind of bus service for the Twin Cities' busiest urban streets that delivers a faster trip and an improved transit experience. Read more information here.
Since completing the initial Arterial Transitway Corridors Study in April 2012, Metro Transit explored the potential for bus rapid transit service along Penn Avenue. The study found that bus rapid transit service would perform well there, and it became one of the top priority corridors for implementation with city and county support.
Metro Transit is committed to engaging community members in transit decisions through its guiding principle of community orientation. Community engagement during the preliminary planning phase for the C Line was coordinated with Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis through the Penn Avenue Community Works process, which engaged Penn Avenue area residents on a broader vision for the corridor. Read the C Line Public Engagement Plan in the Project Library.
A trip on Route 19 from downtown Minneapolis to the Brooklyn Center Transit Center takes anywhere from 23 to 46 minutes today, depending on time of day. By stopping less often, allowing customers to board faster, and stopping at fewer red lights, the C Line is projected to make many trips about 20-25 percent faster and make travel times throughout the day more consistent.
Stations will be located roughly every quarter to half mile to connect with intersecting bus routes and serve existing high-ridership stops and major destinations. Metro Transit has developed a C Line Station Plan that establishes final locations for stations before detailed engineering. See the C Line Station Plan.
Exact service plans will be formed through project development. It is anticipated that C Line service would operate every 10 minutes during rush hours, midday, evenings and weekends, with less frequent service in the early morning and late at night.
Almost 70 percent of existing Route 19 customers board the bus today at planned station locations and won’t have to walk any farther to access the service.
The C Line will become the primary route serving Penn Avenue with increased service in evenings and on weekends. Local Route 19 is planned to operate every 30 minutes. See information about Route 19 service planning.
The C Line will use unique, recognizable 60-foot "articulated" buses with wider aisles, more seating capacity and additional doors so more people can get on and off easily.
At least six of the 60-foot articulated buses that will be used on the C Line will be fully-propelled by rechargeable batteries, eliminating tailpipe emissions. The Xcelsior® battery-electric, 60-foot, heavy-duty transit buses will be manufactured and delivered by St. Cloud, Minnesota-based New Flyer of America.
The buses will be among the first 60-foot battery-electric articulated buses put into service in the United States.
Metro Transit has coordinated with several partner agencies to construct the C Line with other infrastructure projects. Major construction on Penn Avenue was completed in 2018. C Line stations along Brooklyn Boulevard in Brooklyn Center and 8th Street in downtown Minneapolis will be constructed in 2019. See information about C Line Construction.
Property owners in the segment of Penn Avenue North scheduled for reconstruction (West Broadway Avenue to Lowry Avenue North) will be assessed for that portion of the project. More information can be found here.
The C Line improvements are funded by Metro Transit. There will be no assessments for those improvements.
The total estimated cost of the C Line project is $37 million. This includes the cost of stations and related technology/fare collection elements, new BRT vehicles including eight battery-electric buses, transit signal priority and the cost of designing and delivering the line.
The C Line project is funded by a mix of federal and local funds, with approximately 80 percent of the project being federally funded.
Move C Line to Glenwood Avenue when the METRO Blue Line Extension opens.
The C Line will operate on Olson Memorial Highway when it opens in 2019. However, light-rail transit is also planned for Olson Memorial Highway and is scheduled to open in 2022. Following a study process that began in response to stakeholder input, the Metropolitan Council approved a recommendation to move the C Line to Glenwood Avenue from Olson Highway when light rail opens.
Moving the C Line from Olson Highway to Glenwood Avenue will balance transitway service throughout multiple corridors, rather than concentrating investments on a single street, and provide access to a broader part of North Minneapolis. With the C Line on Glenwood Avenue, bus service on Olson Highway can be better tailored to adapt to customer demand shifting to rail.
> See the recommendation summary here
> See meeting video and materials from recent engagement work here
Daily maintenance and trash collection
- Routine maintenance will be focused on the C Line's 22 stations.
- Trash and recycling receptacles will be available at each C Line station to encourage customers to properly dispose of their trash.
- Snow removal services are planned for the C Line Shelters in an effort to improve the customer experience.
- Snow removal will include shelters and the entire platform designated by colored concrete. Visit metrotransit.org/snow for more information regarding Metro Transit's snow removal policy.
What about safety at C Line stations?
Security features on the C Line include:
- A safe, well-lit environment: C Line customers will notice more lights and brighter bulbs at the C Line stations. Station lights will stay on 24/7.
- Security cameras: Security cameras are key to Metro Transit's crime prevention strategy and will be deployed at all C Line stations.
- Emergency telephones: An emergency telephone will be available at each C Line station with a 24/7 connection to Metro Transit Police Department.