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Rapid bus line with faster, more frequent service opens in Twin Cities

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Rapid bus line with
faster, more frequent service opens in Twin Cities

A new rapid bus line that will provide up to 25 percent faster service than regular route local buses opened on Saturday, June 11.

The first of a dozen
rapid bus lines to be built by Metro Transit throughout the region, the A
 runs from Rosedale Center in Roseville, down
Snelling Avenue through Falcon Heights and St. Paul, to Ford Parkway, where it
crosses the Mississippi River into Minneapolis on 46th Street. The A Line connects to the METRO Green Line’s
Snelling Avenue Station in St. Paul and to the METRO Blue Line’s 46th Street
Station in Minneapolis. 

“The A Line will make commuting more convenient for
thousands of Minnesotans every day and reduce congestion for those who can’t
use transit. The metro area needs transit projects like the A Line, which
supports jobs and economic growth today, and will handle double the ridership
by 2030,” Lt. Governor Tina Smith said. “This project is
extremely important, but until the legislature passes a long-term solution for
funding transportation, including transit, Minnesota will fall behind other
states, and all the other important projects we need to compete will not
happen. We need to get this done.” 

Community members and officials from across the region,
state, and country celebrated the A Line’s opening on Saturday morning with a
ribbon-cutting. Service began at 10 a.m.

“Rapid bus service is going to give riders more transit
choices and dramatically improve riders’ commute,” Metropolitan Council Chair
Adam Duininck said. “It creates a quick connection between the Green Line
on Snelling Avenue and Blue Line on Hiawatha Avenue, not to mention the number of
businesses and destination points along the line. It’s an exciting day for our
region to see this new technology, and underscores the need to continue
building out a 21st Century transit system that helps us compete with regions
across the country.” 

Pre-paid boarding, technology that gives buses priority
at intersections and redesigned buses with wider doors and aisles are among the
features that will speed service and improve the rider experience on the A

The placement and design of the A Line’s stations are
also a significant part of the improved service. Stations are located a half-mile apart to speed service and connect customers to major destinations.

“Our riders are at the forefront of the design of the A
Line and its stations,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said.
“Features including heated shelters with improved lighting, security cameras
and real-time displays that let riders know when buses will arrive are only a few
of the things that show how we work to act on our riders’ needs. By doing this,
we have worked to make good on our commitment to improving service in one of
the busiest transportation corridors in the area.” 

The A Line is expected to provide up to 8,700 average
weekday rides by 2030. Nearly 31,000 people live within a quarter-mile of an A
Line station and there are nearly 11,000 jobs in the corridor. Workers who live within a
half-mile of A Line stations will be able to reach 4,500 more jobs within a half
hour than they could have prior to the A Line’s opening. 

Built at a cost of $27 million, the A Line is part of a
network of a dozen rapid bus lines planned throughout the Twin Cities metro
area. The planned network includes the C
, which will connect Brooklyn Center to downtown
Minneapolis with service on Olson Memorial Highway and Penn Avenue. Construction on
the C Line is scheduled to begin in 2018, pending full project funding. When completed, the rapid bus entire network
will span more than 100 miles and carry about a third of Metro Transit’s daily

The start of A Line service marks the
culmination of a five-year process, from inception to opening day. Community
celebrations featuring food, music and fun activities are being held throughout
the day at Har Mar Mall in Roseville, Snelling and University Avenues in St.
Paul, and Hillcrest Park in the Highland Park neighborhood. More information about Saturday’s
celebrations can be found here. Free rides are available on the A Line Saturday through Monday. 

For more information, contact Metro Transit Public
Relations Manager Howie Padilla at 612-349-7089 or

Download A Line photos from Metro Transit’s Flickr

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