As I travel the region, I hear it over and over – people want more transit. It’s feedback we appreciate because it means that people value the Metropolitan Council’s services and they like the benefits transit offers – less pollution, convenient commutes, increased mobility, lower transportation costs and more livable communities.
As the largest single public works project in Minnesota history, the Green Line (Central Corridor) will deliver on those benefits – and more. The opening of the line in 2014 will not only expand transit; it will allow us to realign our bus routes that connect to the line, growing and improving the efficiency of our existing bus system.
The benefits of this new light rail line extend beyond the half mile adjacent to and within easy walking distance of Green Line stations. We expect more than 40 percent of those riding the Green Line will either get to the line by utilizing bus service or will transfer to a bus when they step off the train. Those bus customers will see improvements in frequency and span of service seven days a week.
To make these improvements, we studied bus routes in a vast area around the Green Line that today comprises a third of all Metro Transit rides. In May, the Council’s draft service plan resulting from that study went out for public comment.
Metro Transit’s Service Development and Community Outreach departments engaged hundreds of stakeholders and received nearly 600 suggestions on the draft bus service plan. The goal: provide optimum connections to the Green Line with improved bus service throughout the corridor.
Today, we’re in the process of finalizing that plan and we expect the Council will approve a new and expanded bus service area sometime this fall. We are grateful to all the riders and community members who provided input to make our services better and to help us ensure the Green Line is easily accessible to as many residents of the region as possible.
As we construct our 21st century transit system, we’re living up to the challenge of providing more transit service to the residents of the Twin Cities region.