Skip to main content

Purple Line BRT Project

 

Design & Engineering

The METRO Purple Line completed 15% Concept Plans in support of the preparation of the Environmental Assessment. Each of the cities along the METRO Purple Line passed Resolutions of Support of the 15% Concept Plans in early 2020. The design was further refined to continue analysis for the Environmental Assessment.

A Ramsey County Rail Right-of-way Design Guide and a Visual Quality Manual have been prepared to guide the design and engineering in future phases of the project. 

Project Development and Engineering (2022-2023)

During the design and engineering of the METRO Purple Line project, staff will advance and refine the design concepts proposed in the Environmental Analysis Phase. At the conclusion of design and engineering work, the project will have the specifications and drawings that will guide construction.

Design concepts that are further studied and specified during design and engineering, include:

  • Vehicle and vehicle technology
  • Route and alignment
  • Station locations and amenities
  • Traffic
  • Park & Ride lots and layover or maintenance facilities
  • Landscaping
  • Drainage and Water Quality
  • Utilities
  • Bridges and tunnels
  • Transit service plans

 

Design along the Bruce Vento Regional Trail Corridor and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Why are you co-locating Purple Line with the Bruce Vento Regional Trail? Were other route options explored?

  • Ramsey County acquired the rail right-of-way in the 1990s for future transit use. There is enough room within this public right-of-way to fit the Bruce Vento Regional Trail, the Purple Line and other elements such as landscaping and greenery.
  • The Purple Line route was selected in 2017 as a result of the Pre-Project Development Study. The Pre-Project Development Study examined 55 route segments through an extensive public engagement and technical evaluation process in order to determine which route would best meet the project’s overall purpose and need. The project goals, as defined in the Pre-Project Development Study, are as follows:
    • Increase transit use.
    • Develop an implementable project.
    • Improve quality of life.
    • Improve sustainable transportation options.
    • Enhance regional connectivity.
    • Support the local vision for sustainable development.
  • The route selected serves the highest number of riders including people who rely on transit and provides the greatest potential for economic development while maximizing cost effectiveness.

What will the reconstructed Bruce Vento Regional Trail look like? How will it fit?

  • The Bruce Vento Regional Trail will be reconstructed only through the portion of the Purple Line route that uses the Ramsey County rail right-of-way.
  • The Ramsey County rail right-of-way is approximately 100 feet wide. The Bruce Vento Regional Trail will be 12 feet wide and the BRT guideway will be 26 feet wide in this segment of the route. The remaining space in the right-of-way will include vegetation, landscaping, stormwater facilities and buffer space separating the guideway, trail and adjacent properties.
  • Ramsey County developed the Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide in 2020 to establish design principles for the future of the trail, and emphasizes the importance of the natural and historic character of the right-of-way, safety and security, ease of access and maintenance, and a safe, high-quality experience for trail and Purple Line users.
  • The project’s 15% concept plans show the location of the reconstructed Bruce Vento Regional Trail.

 

What improvements will be added during the reconstruction?

  • Improvements include a new trail surface for improved pavement quality, safer trail crossings with streets, and improved and new grade separations (e.g., bridge over Johnson Parkway).
  • The Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide will guide the design of the Purple Line Project and Bruce Vento Regional Trail and was created with public input collected in 2019 and in previous planning phases.
  • This document outlines recommendations for pedestrian facilities, vegetation, landscaping and other trail amenities along different segments of the trail and shows how the trail, guideway and stations will interact with each other.

How will you ensure the safety of people walking and biking to/from and along the Bruce Vento Regional Trail?

  • Safety is a priority of the Purple Line Project. A maximum of six buses per hour in each direction will use the guideway, and buses will be operated by professional drivers, creating a safe travel environment for all users. Landscaping and vegetation will be used to help guide trail users to stay on the trail and away from the guideway, further enhancing safety in the area.
  • Where the guideway and trail intersect with local streets, there will be enhanced crossing treatments including traffic signals or other devices to make it clear that it is an intersection with vehicle traffic, but there will not be gate arms, bells or other warnings typically implemented with light rail transit.

Will adding BRT increase noise levels in the Bruce Vento Trail corridor?

  • A maximum of six electric buses would use the guideway in each direction per hour. Electric buses produce no tailpipe emissions and very little noise, especially compared to traditional diesel buses. The noise analysis conducted for the Environmental Assessment indicates that there would not be noise impacts above acceptable levels associated with the Purple Line Project.

Has the Purple Line Project engaged users of the Bruce Vento Regional Trail and adjacent residents about the project?

  • During the Environmental Assessment, Ramsey County conducted extensive public engagement within the Ramsey County rail right-of-way. In 2019, Ramsey County sent a mailing to property owners and residents adjacent to the trail and one to two blocks away from the trail. Ramsey County also organized a series of four pop-up events that were held at different points along the trail in June 2019. At these events, Ramsey County sought input about preferred characteristics and features for the reconstructed trail such as buffers between trail users and the BRT guideway. This input was used in the creation of the Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide, which will be used in developing a safe dedicated guideway and shared-use trail. This document also includes a summary of the public engagement that was conducted in the area.

Upcoming Engagement

  • Please visit metrotransit.org/purple-line-public-engagement for a list of upcoming events and locations that Purple Line project staff will be at. More engagement opportunities will be added as the project advances. If any residents or property owners are interested in discussing specific questions, the Purple Line project team would be happy to schedule a meeting. Please contact us at: purpleline@metrotransit.org