Orange Line connecting bus recommendation moves forward

Date: Monday, May 24, 2021

Metro Transit is adjusting bus routes to improve connections to the new METRO Orange Line bus rapid transit service when it opens later this year. Based on public input and nearly 600 survey responses, we developed a recommended plan, which once adopted, will help set the vision for connecting bus service to the Orange Line.

Driven by data and customer feedback, the recommended plan proposes changes to 11 bus routes near the I-35W south corridor. The plan both improves local bus service and creates reliable connections to the Orange Line. The recommended plan will revise, eliminate, and add service based on our findings.

Beyond a 20% increase in service hours and frequent Orange Line service, this recommended plan includes:

  • Improved frequency on seven routes
  • Route 27 connects Orange, Blue Line stations at Lake Street
  • Fast connection between Orange Line and Normandale College via 98th St on Route 539
  • Eliminating Route 515B, Route 515E branches and Route 597
  • Route 515 returns to High Frequency Network
  • All Route 7 trips will serve Cedar Point Commons
  • Route 501 serves the main door of FedEx, UPS
  • Replacement service for all Route 535/597 local branches
  • Extend West Bloomington coverage service on 84th, 90th streets and Poplar Bridge, Collegeview roads

The concept plan includes routes in south Minneapolis, Bloomington, Richfield, and Edina. The study area does not include Burnsville or areas south of the Minnesota River where Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) is the transit service provider.

Orange Line scheduled to open in late 2021

The Orange Line is a 17-mile bus rapid transit line that connects Minneapolis, Richfield, Bloomington, and Burnsville along I-35W and is slated to open in late 2021.

The recommended plan represents months of analysis and outreach. Staff will present this plan to the Met Council in June for final review. Once adopted, staff will begin to implement the vision for the corridor ahead of the Orange Line’s opening day in late 2021.

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