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Local Service Changes

Local Service Changes 

Route 5 is Metro Transit’s highest ridership route, serving approximately 15,000 customers per weekday in 2019. Because of the duplicative service in the future METRO D Line corridor, pandemic impacts on transit demand and travel patterns, and the current bus driver shortage, changes will be made to existing service. 

Route 5 will see the largest impact of these reductions as the D Line will substantially replace Route 5 and will be the primary transit service in this corridor, running every 10-15 minutes seven days a week. This 18-mile line connects neighborhoods and destinations in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Richfield, and Bloomington. 

The D Line will help deliver more equitable service in a corridor where one in four households do not own a car and rely on transit to get to work, play, and run errands. 

See the Project Fact Sheet

Guiding Principles 

  • Balance providing local and Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the corridor, especially considering the driver shortage 
  • Minimize impacts to sensitive populations, including low-income, limited mobility, and BIPOC people 
  • Consider both riders’ access to transit as well as the efficiency of bus service design 
  • Honor community relationships by considering previous D Line outreach and engagement, rider safety, and equitable outcomes 

Description of Planned Changes 

Beginning in December 2022, several changes will be made to the Route 5 corridor and connecting bus routes: 

Northside changes 

  • Route 5 “F” branch on 26th Ave. N. will be eliminated, and mainline service via Fremont and Emerson avenues will operate every 30-60 minutes. 

  • Route 721 will no longer operate south of Brooklyn Center Transit Center (BCTC). 

  • Route 724 trips south of BCTC, which are currently suspended, will be permanently eliminated. 

Southside changes 

  • Route 5 will end at 56th St. And Chicago Ave. and will operate every 30-60 minutes. 

  • Routes 39 and 133, which are currently suspended, will be eliminated. 

Osseo Rd. construction starting Spring 2023 

  • Local routes and METRO C and D Lines will detour during Osseo Rd. construction. 

  • After construction is completed, routes will serve NEW 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. Station. Route 5 will end at 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. and will not serve BCTC. 

Route 5 as underlying service in the D Line corridor  

Route 5 will operate at reduced service levels to complement D Line as an “underlying” route, with the purpose of providing coverage to riders at local stops between stations on trips every 30 to 60 minutes in most of the corridor. Route 5 as an underlying service is a demonstration that will be monitored and evaluated periodically to assess performance, customer feedback, and other service qualities. These inputs will inform potential service changes to Route 5 after the initial D Line launch. 

See maps of existing local corridor service (2019) and planned service. 

Planning Considerations 

  • Corridor demographics including race, income, people with disabilities 
  • Essential destinations in relation to D Line stations 
  • Ridership (see map of Fall 2021 corridor ridership) 
    • Count of riders beyond ½ mile of D Line stations 
    • Percent of riders within a block of D Line stations 
  • Travel time comparison between D Line and Routes 39, 133, 721, and 724 
  • Alternative service within a quarter mile of service reductions and eliminations 
    • 26th Ave. service elimination on Route 5 “F” branch – ride C Line or Route 14 
    • Dowling service elimination on Routes 721 and 724 – ride D Line, Route 5, or Route 22 
    • Chicago Ave. local service elimination between 56th & 60th streets – ride Route 14 
    • American Blvd. local service elimination – ride Routes 515 or 540 
  • Osseo Rd reconstruction and opening of NEW 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. Station 
  • Land uses, operating conditions, and pedestrian environment 


2019 Corridor Local Service 

Planned Corridor Local Service 

Corridor Ridership – Fall 2021 

Title VI Service Equity Analysis

A Title VI Service Equity Analysis reviews proposed service changes associated with the implementation of the METRO D Line to ensure the impacts of proposed changes would be made in a nondiscriminatory manner based on race, color, national origin, and low-income status.

As part of its Civil Rights and Environmental Justice obligations, Metro Transit is required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to conduct a Title VI service equity analysis for any proposed service change that meets the agency’s “major service change” threshold.

Elements of the proposed service changes associated with implementation of the D Line meet this threshold, and this report fulfills Metro Transit’s requirement to conduct a Title VI service equity analysis. This analysis reviewed changes in service along the proposed D Line corridor to understand how service availability – or access to transit – would change for residents and the extent to which impacts differ between Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and white non-Hispanic residents, and between low-income and non-low-income residents.

Upon conducting the technical analysis and applying Metro Transit’s Title VI policies in accordance with Metro Transit and the Metropolitan Council’s Title VI Program, this review finds that the proposed service changes would not result in disparate impact on BIPOC populations nor disproportionate burden on low-income populations. The full results of these findings are located below:

Executive Summary

Full Service Equity Analysis Report

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why eliminate Route 5 “F” branch service on 26th Ave? 

Route 5 “F” branch currently serves 26th Ave. N between Queen Ave. and Fremont/Emerson avenues. Existing bus service on Penn Ave. and Fremont/Emerson avenues are accessible within a quarter mile to most riders on 26th Ave. Knox Ave. is the only stop location where riders are beyond a quarter mile of alternative service. Approximately 9 riders boarded at Knox Ave. daily in Fall 2021, down from approximately 19 daily boardings in Fall 2019. When D Line opens, all riders on 26th Ave. will be within a half mile of C Line and/or D Line stations on Penn and Fremont/Emerson avenues. 

Why won’t Route 5 travel north of 47th Ave. after Osseo Rd. is reconstructed? 

The northernmost Route 5 terminal today is BCTC. Due to the ongoing driver shortage, in the long-term Route 5 will terminate at 47th Ave. and Osseo Rd., where a new BRT station will be constructed as part of the Osseo Road reconstruction project (2023-2025). Shortening Route 5 will reduce the number of drivers needed for this route, which helps ensure there are sufficient drivers to run all Metro Transit routes as scheduled. Route 5 will continue to serve BCTC until the 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. Station is open, currently anticipated in late 2023. 

Why won’t Route 5 travel south of 56th St? 

South of 56th St., 98 percent of current Route 5 riders are boarding at stops that will be within a quarter mile of a D Line station, and everyone is within a half mile. Riders paying with Limited Mobility fare cards or requesting bus wheelchair ramps are also largely using stops directly at planned D Line stations or within a 1-block distance. 

Will Route 5 still serve high schools directly? 

Today, Route 5 directly serves Minneapolis Public School high schools in North Minneapolis. These are North Community High School and Patrick Henry High School. Route 5 local underlying service in the D Line corridor can continue to offer service to high schools in a manner that balances existing resources (such as driver availability). This ensures that high school students have convenient bus access and that regular non-school trips are not overloaded by students.   

Why won't Routes 721 and 724 serve trips to downtown Minneapolis? 

Route 721 currently operates peak service between BCTC and downtown Minneapolis. Route 724 offers extended midday service between BCTC and downtown Minneapolis, but this service was suspended in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Route 721 and 724 riders travelling to and from downtown Minneapolis have access to alternative service, notably D Line which is expected to provide comparable travel times to and from downtown. Riders on Dowling Ave. will have alternative service on Lyndale Avenue (Route 22) and Fremont Avenue (D Line and Route 5). 

Why eliminate suspended Routes 39 and 133? 

Local Route 39 and Commuter Express Route 133 serve peak trips to and from major employment destinations in downtown Minneapolis and Midtown area. Both routes were suspended in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Route 39 and 133 riders are expected to shift to D Line which will provide comparable travel times to and from downtown Minneapolis. 

Outreach and contact details 

North Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center 
Joanna Hubbard-Rivera 
Community Outreach Coordinator 
South Minneapolis, Richfield and Bloomington 
Cody Olson 
Community Outreach Coordinator 
Media Contact 
Laura Baenen 
Senior Communications Specialist 
612-269-4365 cell 
Service Development

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