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Better bus connections to the Green Line: public meetings about draft service plan


From Barb Thoman, Executive Director

This week Metro Transit, an agency of the Metropolitan Council, unveiled a draft plan for restructured bus service to coincide with the opening of Central Corridor light rail in 2014. This new and extended service is made possible by shifting resources that duplicate new light rail transit service. The Green Line, as it will be known, will run every ten minutes most of the day, seven days a week.


Buses 16, 87, 67, 50, and 63 would connect to the Green Line station at University and Raymond. The Green Line will replace route 50.

Metro Transit expects that nearly 40% of riders on the Green Line will come from connecting bus service. At Transit for Livable Communities, we know that for our transit system to serve the greatest number of people, it needs to offer frequent well-connected service and safe and convenient access by walking and by bicycle.

The proposed restructuring plan would greatly improve north/south bus service in areas of Saint Paul that currently have very limited service or no service at all. The plan also proposes to extend several existing routes to enable new connections between other bus routes or light rail.



When the Green Line opens, there will be N-S connecting bus routes one-mile apart in the area covered by changes in service, including Route 62 along Rice Street, Route 65 along Dale Street, Route 83 (new) along Lexington Parkway, and Route 84 along Snelling. The thicker the line on the map, the more frequent the service.

The proposed plans take into consideration comments and suggestions collected over the last several months at community meetings and via surveys and the Trusted Advocates program. Metro Transit will take comments and testimony about the draft plan through July 9. See below for meeting details. Here are some highlights of the proposed plan (PDF):

New and extended Service:

  • A new bus route on Lexington Avenue, where no bus runs today, will plug a 2-mile gap between north-south bus routes. Currently, there are north-south routes on Dale and Snelling, but nothing in between.  
  • Route #87, from Highland to Rosedale, will run more frequently (every 20 minutes) and have weekend service for the first time.
  • Route #84 along Snelling Avenue will run every 10 minutes. New “Rapid Bus” service on Snelling—faster, with higher amenities—may also be timed for the introduction of the new service plan.
  • More frequent north-south service on Dale Street (route #65) and a connection south to Grand Avenue and route #63. Route #65 would terminate at Grand Avenue.


The 65 bus route will run more frequently when the Central Corridor LRT line opens in 2014.


Better connections:

  • The Grand Avenue bus (route #63) would be extended north from the University of St. Thomas area to connect with the Raymond Avenue light rail station on the Green Line.
  • The #67 Minnehaha Avenue bus would be extended west to the Franklin LRT station on the Hiawatha or Blue Line.

Redundant services eliminated or reduced:

  • With Green Line light rail service running every 10 minutes, parallel service on the local route #16 will be reduced to every 20 minutes and terminate on the western end at Oak Street on the U of M campus.
  • Route #50 will be eliminated, as it duplicates Green Line service along the Central Corridor. 
  • The #94 express bus route between the Minneapolis and Saint Paul downtown cores would be reduced to weekday morning and evening rush hours and the mid-point stop at Snelling Avenue will be eliminated.
  • Route 144 express service from Highland Park to downtown Minneapolis will be eliminated.

A series of public meetings and hearings have been scheduled to take questions and testimony about the proposed changes in bus service, as follows: 

Tuesday, June 19, 4-6:30 p.m. (presentation and testimony begin at 4:30pm)
Brian Coyle Center, Multipurpose Room
420 15th Ave S, Minneapolis
Served by Metro Transit Routes 22 and Hiawatha Line Cedar-Riverside Station

Thursday, June 21, 4-6:30 p.m. (presentation and testimony begin at 4:30pm)
Central Corridor Resource Center
1080 University Ave. W., St. Paul
Served by Metro Transit Routes 16 and 50

Saturday, June 23, 1-3 p.m. (presentation and testimony begin at 1:30pm)
Goodwill Easter Seals, Community Meeting Room
553 Fairview Ave. N., St. Paul
Served by Metro Transit Routes 16 and 67

Tuesday, June 26, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (Public hearing--presentation and testimony begin at 11:30am)
Hennepin County Central Library, Doty Board Room
300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
Served by multiple Metro Transit routes

Thursday, June 28, 4-6:30 p.m. (Public hearing--presentation and testimony begin at 4:30pm)
Rondo Community Outreach Library, Multipurpose Room
461 Dale Street North, St. Paul
Served by Metro Transit Routes 16 and 65

The Metropolitan Council also will receive comments on the service plan through 5pm, July 9, as follows:

  • Written comments: Metropolitan Council, 390 N. Robert St, St. Paul  55101
  • Fax comments to:  651-602-1464
  • Send TTY comments to: 651-291-0904
  • Email:
  • Record comments on Council’s Public Comment Line at 651-602-1500


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The planned extension of bus route 63, north from the University of St. Thomas to the Raymond Ave. station of the Green Line, is the best news of 2012! Just think of the way that will boost transit access to UST, Macalester, and Grand Avenue, just for starters.

I live in Shadow Falls in Merriam Park south of 94, and I have been saying North - South busing was bad for years. I rarely go north of University if its not on the 84 line, as the 65 and 87 run so rarely.

Increasing the 65 & 87 would be great, along with the 63 going north-south for a while. Would the 83 go to Como Park? That is a place I would go more, but I hate taking 3 buses or going all the way downtown & back.

Northeast Mpls is a place that is booming as a cultural destination, but the transit system doesn't reflect that. I have had more no-show busses there than anywhere else by a mile. If the 61, 4, & 6 connected with the Green Line and ran more often that would be good.

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