Skip to main content

Local Service Changes

Local Service Changes 

Route 5 was 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 were made to existing service. 

Route 5 saw the largest impact of these reductions as D Line substantially replaced Route 5 and is 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 delivers 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 

In December 2022, several changes were made to the Route 5 corridor and connecting bus routes: 

Northside changes 

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

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

  • Route 724 trips south of BCTC were be permanently eliminated. 

Southside changes 

  • Route 5 ends at 56th St. And Chicago Ave. and operates every 30-60 minutes. 

  • Routes 39 and 133 were be eliminated. 

Osseo Rd. construction starting spring 2023 

  • Local routes and METRO C and D lines were detoured during Osseo Rd. construction. 

  • After construction, routes serve NEW 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. Station. Route 5 ends at 47th Ave. & Osseo Rd. and does not serve BCTC. 

Route 5 as underlying service in the D Line corridor  

Route 5 operates 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. 

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 reviewed 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 met 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 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 found 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 5F branch service on 26th Avenue? 

Route 5F service servesd 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 nine riders boarded at Knox Ave. daily in fall 2021, down from approximately 19 daily boardings in Fall 2019. When D Line opened, 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 south of 56th St.? 

South of 56th St., 98% of Route 5 riders were boarding at stops that are 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 also largely used stops directly at D Line stations or within a one-block distance. 

Will Route 5 still serve high schools directly? 

Route 5 directly served 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 continues 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 operated rush-hour service between BCTC and downtown Minneapolis. Route 724 offered 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 traveling to and from downtown Minneapolis have access to alternate service, notably D Line which provides comparable travel times to and from downtown. Riders on Dowling Ave. have alternate 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 served rush-hour trips to and from major employment destinations in downtown Minneapolis and the Midtown area. Both routes were suspended in March 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Route 39 and 133 riders were expected to shift to D Line which provides 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 
[email protected] 
Media Contact 
Laura Baenen 
Senior Communications Specialist 
[email protected] 
612-269-4365 cell 
Service Development

Social media