Metro transit officials are building a new rapid bus line to shuttle riders from Brooklyn Center to downtown Minneapolis, the newest line in a push to build out the Twin Cities' transit network.
"Here we are standing out in the cold in Minnesota celebrating something," said Gary Cunningham, a Metropolitan Council member who represents north Minneapolis, at Tuesday's groundbreaking. "This really matters. These projects are not easy things to do."
The $37 million C-Line, like other rapid bus routes, will feature fewer stops while aiming to offer riders a more comfortable experience and reliable service — sort of like light rail, but at a fraction of the cost to build (and with much less controversy). Passengers pay in advance, can wait for their ride in heated shelters, and enter through two doors at the front and rear of the bus, making service more efficient.
Buses do operate in traffic, so there's no way to avoid a roadway pocked with potholes, or traffic snarls, although buses have technology to coax traffic lights to green.
The region's first rapid bus line, the A-Line, opened in 2016 to mostly rave reviews. Ridership along the route — along Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway in St. Paul, connecting Rosedale Center with the Blue Line 46th Street station — surged by more than a third in its first year.
The Met Council plans 11 more of these lines throughout the Twin Cities, and the C-Line is next up. There is $50 million in Gov. Mark Dayton's bonding proposal that would help build bus projects like the D-Line, which would run along the heavily traveled Route 5 bus corridor between Brooklyn Park and the Mall of America.