METRO D Line (Route 5 corridor bus rapid transit service)
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the D Line?
The METRO D Line is a planned bus rapid transit service, like the A Line, that will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the Route 5 corridor. You can find more information about its route and amenities here.
How much faster will bus rapid transit service be compared to Route 5?
A scheduled trip on Route 5 from Mall of America to the Brooklyn Center Transit Center can take about 90 minutes, depending on the time of day. The goal of the METRO D Line is to make service 20-25% faster by stopping less often, allowing customers to board faster and stopping at fewer red lights. Similar travel time improvements were achieved with the A Line.
How will future bus service levels compare with today's Route 5?
The D Line will become the main service along the corridor, with service about every 10 minutes on larger buses throughout most of the day. Route 5 will operate about every 30 minutes. Both the D Line and Route 5 would run less frequently in the early morning and late at night. The final service plan will be established in 2019-2020, when the D Line is closer to construction.
Why was the Route 5 corridor selected for bus rapid transit service?
Route 5 is the busiest bus route in the Twin Cities. Today it carries approximately 15,000 passengers per weekday. In April 2012, Metro Transit published the Arterial Transitway Corridors Study, which found that bus rapid transit service would perform well in the corridor and prioritized it for implementation with city and county support.
Where will I be able to board the D Line?
Stations will be located roughly every half mile to connect with intersecting bus routes and serve existing high ridership stops and destinations. See the station plan.
What will be the frequency and hours of service?
Exact service plans will be formed through project development. It is anticipated that D 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.
What will D Line buses look like?
The METRO D Line will use recognizable 60-foot "articulated" buses with wider aisles, more seating capacity and additional doors so more people can get on and off easily. METRO D Line customers should feel less crowded and more comfortable as they travel.
How will fares be collected on the D Line?
The METRO D Line will have "off-board fare payment." Transit customers will buy their ticket or validate their pass at readers on the station platform rather than inside the bus. Customers will then be able to enter the bus through any door, speeding up the boarding process. Just like on the light rail or the A Line, Transit Police will enforce fare payment.
How will the D Line affect vehicle and bicycle traffic?
D Line buses will pull up to the station, allow customers to board and exit the bus, and then will pull away. In some parts of the corridor, there are bike lanes on the street. While a bus is stopped, it will occupy the bike lane and the lane of traffic and vehicles and bicycles will not be permitted to drive around the bus. Because all customers pay before boarding and can get on the bus through three wide doors, most stops take about 10-15 seconds. The D Line will not stop at the station if there are no customers waiting at the stop or exiting the bus.
What features will D Line stations include?
D Line station features include:
- A safe, well-lit environment: D Line customers will notice more lights and brighter bulbs at the D Line stations
- Real-time NexTrip displays: Displays provide bus information and on-demand annunciators speak this information for people with low vision
- Containers for garbage and recycling: Containers help keep stations free of debris
- Security cameras: Security cameras are key to Metro Transit's crime prevention strategy and will be deployed at D Line stations
- Heat: Shelters provide weather protection and on-demand heaters
- Benches: Stations will have benches to provide a place for riders to sit
- Bicycle Parking: Stations will have bicycle parking loops to encourage multi-modal transportation
- Emergency telephones: An emergency telephone will be available at each D Line station with a 24/7 connection to the Metro Transit Police Department
When will construction begin?
Construction is currently set to begin as early as 2020. This schedule may shift based on funding opportunities and availability.
How much will the D Line cost?
The total estimated cost of the METRO D Line project is $75 million, based on preliminary project cost estimates. This includes the cost of stations and related technology/fare collection elements, new BRT vehicles, transit signal priority and the cost of designing and delivering the line.
How is the project funded?
It is anticipated that the D Line project will be funded by a mix of federal, state and Metropolitan Council funds.
$55 million has been identified for the D Line project to date, including funds for replacing buses in the corridor with BRT vehicles, and some federal funds for station construction.
An additional $20 million is needed to build stations along the entire D Line.
How can community members get involved in design?
Metro Transit is committed to engaging community members in transit decisions through its guiding principles. To see how the project team thinks about outreach and engagement, read the D Line Public Engagement Plan and contact us with ideas, questions and concerns. The project team is always interested in collaboration.