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Transit Advantages

Speed and Reliability Program

The Speed and Reliability Program is one of several Metro Transit initiatives for speeding up bus travel times and improving consistency. It was established in early 2018 with a goal of improving local bus service. 

In response to 2023 legislative requirements, Metro Transit and its partners prepared the 2024 Transit Advantages and Transit Signal Priority Report detailing the history and future of transit advantages in the Twin Cities.

Better Bus Routes

The Better Bus Route program aims to improve local bus routes not identified for near-term bus rapid transit investments. The approach is to implement quick, low-cost improvements that make a noticeable difference in the customer experience. 

Project Goal


Improve the speed and reliability of service

Consolidate bus stops for up to ¼ -mile spacing, or making other adjustments to improve bus stop placement

Improve customer access at the bus stop 

Ensure that all bus stops are ADA-accessible; if not, install concrete pads to improve accessibility

Expand the no-parking zone to ensure buses can fully pull to the curb at the bus stop

Improve the waiting experience at the bus stop 

Install new shelters at qualifying bus stops

Make service easier for everyday customers to understand

Simplify the route and schedule; consider removing low-ridership branches or route deviations

Increase bus driver satisfaction 

More consistent travel times, more rest times at both ends of the route, and look for opportunities to improve restroom access

Since 2018 Metro Transit has completed five Better Bus Route projects – Route 2, Route 63, Route 3, Route 22, and Route 17 – with a goal of implementing at least one new project annually. Improvements to Route 4 will be made in 2024, and routes 7, 61, and 11 will be improved in coming years.

Active Projects

Bus Lanes

Metro Transit partners with cities and counties to improve transit service along high-ridership corridors served by one or more urban local bus routes. On busy urban streets, bus lanes are important strategy to provide reliable and robust transit service. 

Bus lanes are created by repurposing general traffic lanes or parking lanes. The decision to create a dedicated bus lane should be based on a combination of factors, with special emphasis on transit volume and demand, including future demand, and the potential to reduce total person delay.

Active projects 

Bus-Only Shoulders

On highways, buses may also operate in designated bus-only shoulders. Since 1991, MnDOT and Metro Transit have partnered to create more than 300 miles of bus-only shoulders, a cost-effective innovation allowing buses to bypass rush-hour freeway traffic. 

Transit Signal Priority

Transit signal priority (TSP) modifies the traffic signal timing at intersections to favor transit vehicles. Like any vehicle, a bus or train that just misses a green light normally must wait until the next green, which can take 30 to 60 seconds or more. By using TSP, delays can be reduced, improving schedule adherence and the customer experience.  

TSP is installed at 163 intersections, with many more planned. In the next few years TSP will be added to most intersections on the METRO B and E lines, and at select intersections on Route 63.

Looking ahead, Metro Transit will explore “hardware lite” TSP systems that use internet communication between the bus driver, a cloud-based server, and traffic signals to generate and send requests for priority. These promise to provide greater flexibility and faster deployment. 

Spot Improvements

Spot improvements are low-cost, small- to mid-scale changes to help keep buses moving more reliably. Improvements range from adjusting the no-parking zones near bus stops to help buses move in and out of stops more smoothly, to adding stop bars at locations where a bus needs to make a tight turn. Each support safer and more efficient operation of buses; we will partner with city, county, and state partners to make necessary improvements.