The region’s second rapid bus line is moving steadily toward opening in 2019 as planners continue digging deeper into the details to bring the project to life.
The C Line will connect riders from Brooklyn Center and North Minneapolis with stations in downtown Minneapolis.
Buses will run every 10 minutes mostly along Penn Avenue North. Service will be 20% to 25% faster than existing bus Route 19, which serves the corridor today.
The C Line follows the successful A Line rapid bus in Saint Paul, which opened in June. In just five months, ridership on the A Line has exceeded expectations and increased the number of riders in the corridor by 35% over the previous year.
Metro Transit planners are anticipating an equal success when the C Line opens.
Faster connections to jobs, education and more
“The C Line will provide faster connections to jobs, education, housing and entertainment,” said Metro Transit Project Manager Katie Roth, who is coordinating work on the C Line. “We have heard a great deal of support for the project from community leaders and residents who feel strongly about the important role transit plays in this part of the region.”
Roth said current Route 19 on Penn Avenue North is one of Metro Transit’s top 10 busiest bus routes and a great place to invest in rapid bus service and stations. On some parts of Penn Avenue, one out of every four people traveling on the road each day is in a Metro Transit bus. The C Line will significantly improve the bus riding experience in an area of concentrated poverty, where many people in the corridor rely on transit as their primary means of getting around.
Transit planners expect 9,300 weekly riders in the C Line corridor by 2030, compared with approximately 7,000 daily riders today.
Stations along Olson Memorial Highway will move to Glenwood Avenue in the future
In November, the Metropolitan Council approved a plan to shift the C Line from Olson Memorial Highway to Glenwood Avenue when new METRO Blue Line Extension light rail service opens on Olson Highway in 2021.
The C Line will open in 2019 with transit stops along Olson Memorial Highway just west of downtown before the route turns north along Penn Avenue.
But based on community input this year, the permanent alignment of the C Line will shift to Glenwood Avenue after light rail opens.
Running the C Line on Glenwood will balance transitway service throughout multiple corridors and provide access to a broader part of North Minneapolis.
Project funded by federal, state and local sources
The total estimated project cost is $30-35 million from a mix of federal, state and local funds, with about half the costs currently secured. Among the unfunded portion, $7 million has been requested in competitive federal funds from the Regional Solicitation, to be awarded in January. The balance of needed funds will be sought during the upcoming state legislative session.
More about the C Line.