Liam and James Hanley know a thing or two about taking transit in the Twin Cities.
In fact, the brothers have become pretty expert at getting around on buses and trains, having ridden each of the METRO lines, Northstar and more than 20 bus routes since moving to Minnesota three years ago.
A collection of bus schedules from 2005 to the present fills two shoeboxes. James, 10, describes himself as the “family’s trip planner.” Liam, 12, prides himself on his solo trips to the Mall of America and other destinations (“Of all the trips I have taken, I have always come back in one piece even though my mom gets super worried,” he says.)
The brother’s adventures began when they began taking the Blue Line to meet their dad for lunch in downtown Minneapolis and grew after they moved from Edina to St. Paul, where they could access more bus routes. This fall, Liam, will begin riding Route 84 and the Green Line to school every day. James will share the commute the year after.
The enthusiasm for all things transit led Liam and James to recently write to Rider’s Almanac. Seeing their excitement, Metro Transit offered them and their mom, Kate, a tour of the Heywood Garage and the Blue Line’s Operations and Maintenance Facility.
On the tour, the boys saw the bus garage’s maintenance bays, rode in the cab of a light-rail vehicle and met with several staff members who answered their many questions. Here, the boys speak briefly about why they enjoy taking transit: