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Connecting Bus Service

Connecting Bus Service Study

In late 2021, the METRO Orange Line is scheduled to begin new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) service in the I-35W corridor in south Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington, and Burnsville. Learn more about the Orange Line and Stations

Bus routes in the area will be restructured to connect to the Orange Line. Metro Transit has developed a Concept Plan that details the proposed changes with the goal of improving  transit service in the area. The 17-mile Orange Line will replace Routes 535 and 597 with frequent all-day service between downtown Minneapolis and Burnsville. 

Map showing the Orange Line Connecting routes

Connecting Bus Study Map (PDF)

Study area 

The study area is bounded by the Mississippi River on the east, I-394 on the north, Highway 169 on the west, and the Minnesota River on the south. The study area does not include Burnsville or areas south of the Minnesota River where Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) is the transit service provider.

Proposed changes

Routes 535 and 597 will be mostly replaced by the Orange Line. New and restructured local routes, listed in groups below by geographic area, will connect with the Orange Line at stations along I-35W (clink on the link to see a detailed map with changes):

  • 7 and 515 following 66th and Cedar in Richfield 
  • 27 serving south Minneapolis Phillips neighborhood employers 
  • 534, 553 along Lyndale/Portland 
  • 536, 539 serving Normandale and Mall of America 
  • 538, 540, 542 along I-494 
  • 547, 548, 597 serving south Bloomington
  • Routes 53, 146, 156, 537, 554, and 558 remain suspended
  • No changes are proposed to local routes 4, 6, 11, 18, 21, and 46

Read the complete METRO Orange Line Connecting Bus Study Concept Plan (January 2021):


How to get involved

The Concept Plan public comment period ended Feb. 22. Thank you for participating. Metro Transit is reviewing all of the feedback and will modify the proposal as appropriate. Information on the changes we are recommending based on your input will be available in the spring, prior to finalizing the changes this summer and implementing them when Orange Line opens later this year. 


Connecting Bus Study timeline 

  • Fall 2019: Evaluate Existing Conditions  Read the Existing Conditions Report that documents transit markets, development patterns, major destinations and current and future travel patterns
  • Winter 2019: Community Engagement  See a summary report of Pre-Concept Plan outreach activities and public comments 
  • 2019 – 2020: Develop Concept Plan
  • Jan. 25 – Feb.  22, 2021: Concept Plan review & public comment period
  • Spring 2021: Plan revision
  • Summer 2021: Final Plan approval
  • Late 2021: Implementation

Impacts due to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic affected transit service in the corridor with most express routes being suspended. Service will be adjusted as needed based on ridership, new travel patterns, and budget availability.

Project Contact
Juan Rangel
Community Outreach Coordinator

Media Contact
Laura Baenen
Senior Communications Specialist
612-269-4365 cell