Upcoming schedule changes will provide riders more options and space when traveling on buses and trains.
The changes taking effect on Saturday, Sept. 12, will mean that many local bus routes, the METRO A Line and the METRO C Line will have about as much service as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic. The METRO Blue Line and METRO Green Line will offer 10-minute service throughout most of the day.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the indispensable role transit plays in the lives of many of our riders, including essential workers who are vital to our region.” General Manager Wes Kooistra said. “These service changes are designed to meet the ongoing needs of our community while keeping the safety of riders and staff at the forefront."
Because of a significant drop in demand, around 50 express bus routes will remain suspended and the Northstar Commuter Rail Line will continue to operate on a limited, weekday-only schedule.
In July, ridership on local bus routes and the METRO A Line and METRO C Line was down about 50% compared to the same month last year. Light rail ridership was down about 75%. Increases in local bus and light rail service will help riders keep a safe distance on buses and trains as more people return to transit.
In addition to expanded local bus and light rail service, other notable changes taking effect on September 12 include:
- On Route 63, bus stops will be eliminated or relocated to improve speed and reliability, and several new shelters will be installed.
- Route 54 will begin serving a new transit center at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s Terminal 1.
- Routes 7 and 68 will be extended to provide residents in south Minneapolis and St. Paul better access to services.
- A new route, Route 363, will replace routes 361 and 365 with four morning and four afternoon express trips between Cottage Grove and downtown Minneapolis via downtown St. Paul.
Customers are encouraged to review the new schedules and plan ahead. For help planning a trip, visit metrotransit.org, call 612-373-3333 or text 612-444-1161.
Metro Transit’s next scheduled service changes will take effect in early December. If necessary, additional trips serving schools and other destinations may be added prior to December.
Feedback to inform future service decisions
In recent weeks, Metro Transit staff has distributed more than 50,000 masks while asking customers about their transit experience and priorities. Customers can provide feedback through an online survey through August 27. Rider input will help inform near-term service decision and long-term planning, which will resume next year as part of he Network Next project.
Continued safety measures and fare payment options
To help slow the spread of COVID-19, customers are required to wear face coverings and are encouraged to use a Go-To Card or to purchase fares in advance using the Metro Transit app. Eligible riders can apply for the Transit Assistance Program, which allows participants to ride for $1. Learn more about Metro Transit’s response to COVID-19 at metrotransit.org/ready.