March 9, 2016
By Katie Roth, Metro Transit
The Snelling Avenue Green Line station, already one of the busiest stations on the line, is going to connect to the region’s first of several planned arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines.
Opening on Saturday, June 11, the A Line will improve the customer experience through a combination of enhanced stations, specially-equipped vehicles, faster, more frequent service and other features that mimic light rail.
The A Line will operate between the Rosedale Transit Center and the METRO Blue Line’s 46th Street Station in south Minneapolis, with service on Snelling Avenue, Ford Parkway and 46th Street. Destinations include the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, the METRO Green Line’s Snelling Avenue Station and several colleges, shopping centers and residential areas.
Metro Transit operators are currently training on the route, and major station construction has been completed at all 20 stations. Before opening, ticket vending machines, real-time signs and other station features will be installed.
When service begins, A Line riders will enjoy service that is up to 25 percent faster than local Route 84, which will continue on a reduced schedule.
The time savings are the result of off-board fare payments—just like light-rail—and technology that allows buses to request green lights at intersections. Customers can also board and exit from the front and rear doors, speeding up boarding times.
Service will be frequent enough that most customers will not need to refer to a schedule most of the day.
The A Line’s 40-foot buses—with distinctive coloring, roomier interior and free WiFi—are just a part of the appeal.
A Line station shelters will have creature comforts geared toward making the short wait for an A Line bus warm, safe and convenient. Each of the A Line’s shelters will be heated, lighted, equipped with cameras and signs indicating when the next bus will arrive. Lighting features will also help mark the next bus arrival.
The introduction of the A Line is an important next step in Metro Transit’s efforts to expand and improve service in the Twin Cities.
By 2040, another 750,000 residents will live in the Twin Cities. The region will also be more diverse, urban and less dependent on cars than it is today.
Investing in BRT lines, which will become more and more familiar as they expand throughout the Twin Cities, is important to the business community as our system continues to work to meet their needs.
Whether it’s bringing in new customers, giving employees reliable transportation or simply helping to relieve congestion on our roads so they can effectively move products, BRT is a pro-business investment.
The A Line is simply the latest commitment to the communities that Metro Transit serves. Come aboard as we take the next step to making transit better, faster and more convenient for everyone.