Transportation is a predictably divisive issue at the Capitol.
But a proposal to invest $50 million to expand the region’s system of rapid-transit buses on arterial streets — so-called “aBRTs” — need not be.
It’s not a partisan issue for passengers, observes Shannon Watson of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.
Rider satisfaction with the region’s first such service — right here in St. Paul and the east metro on the A Line — is evident. Since service began in 2016, ridership is up more than 30 percent on the route running in St. Paul along Ford Parkway and Snelling Avenue to a terminus at the Rosedale Transit Center.
Business and transit leaders are making the case for arterial BRTs — featuring faster, more frequent service and some light rail-style amenities — at BetterBusesMSP.com, which they launched last week. The funding they advocate — for design, environmental work, right-of-way acquisition and other costs for the next phase of such routes around the region — is included in Gov. Mark Dayton’s bonding proposal, which would borrow to finance state construction projects.