Beginning last fall, hard progress on Metro Transit’s bus rapid transit A-Line began with construction of stations, the delivery of buses and numerous news updates on that progress.
One bit of news missing from all those updates on the line that runs from Rosedale Center, south down Snelling Avenue, then turns west to meet up with the Metro Green Line, was a hard date for when the service would finally begin.
As confirmed by Howie Padilla, Metro Transit public relations manager, there’s now a date: June 11.
The date first came to light during Met Council chairman Adam Duininck’s Feb. 11 State of the Region speech in Burnsville.
The $27 million A-Line will connect Rosedale to the 46th Street Station on the light rail Green Line in Minneapolis via Snelling, Ford Parkway and 46th Street.
The BRT line will also connect with the Metro Blue Line light rail at University Avenue.
Falcon Heights and Roseville saw construction activity on the cities’ four stations begin last fall — one is at Rosedale, which is already an important transit hub, along with stations at Snelling and County Road B, Snelling and Larpenteur Avenue and Snelling at Hoyt and Nebraska avenues.
The aim of the bus rapid transit line is in the name — riders should be able to take the A-Line from Rosedale to the 46th Street Station in about 36 minutes — 12 minutes faster than the existing Route 84 bus, which runs the same route.
Additionally, A-Line buses, which will be distinct from standard buses with wider doors and aisles, will stop at stations every 10 minutes on the line, compared to the Route 84 bus, which stops more frequently at more stops, showing up every 30 minutes.
Stations will feature real-time arrival information and ticket machines so BRT riders can pay for their fare before the bus arrives — the same way riders currently pay their light rail fares. There will be more security features at stations as well, including cameras and emergency phones.
Metro Transit already has more BRT lines in the works and success on the A-Line could ramp up those efforts, officials have said. Construction on a $30 million-$35 million C-Line connecting Minneapolis to Brooklyn Center is planned for 2017.