Metro Tranist is contemplating changes to several local and express bus routes in the west metro, and the agency is asking stakeholders to weigh in.
Metro Transit will hold open houses at 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Hopkins Library, 22 11th Avenue N. and at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive.
The proposed changes to routes 9C, 9N, 615, 664, 665, 667E, 670 and 671 are a result of the 2012 Minnetonka Transit Study which looked at how to improve service and regional connectivity in the cities of Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Deephaven, Greenwood, Excelsior, Shorewood and Tonka Bay.
The study also looked at how to reduce areas of service duplication and eliminating segments of routes with low ridership.
Here is a list of some of the proposed changes and additions:
Four weekday route 9C trips, which currently serve the Louisiana Transit Center on Interstate 394, will be converted to 9N trips, which serve the higher-density apartments and condos along Cedar Lake Road and Greenbrier Road.
New Route 614 would operate between the Minnetonka Heights Apartments and Ridgedale Mall via County Road 101, Minnetonka Blvd. and Plymouth Road. Hourly service would be offered from 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays. Riders could connect with express Route 675 at Ridgedale Mall.
Service on Route 615 would begin 30 minutes earlier on weekdays and operate two hours later in the evening. Hours would be 6:50 a.m. to 7:40 p.m. on weekdays and 7:15 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Saturdays. Service would be timed to allow riders to connect with express Route 675 and new Route 614.
Route 664 would now start at Smetana Road and Smetana Road in Minnetonka and serve 11th Avenue S. in Hopkins. The route would serve Mainstreet east of 11th Avenue and then follow Excelsior Blvd. to Hwy. 100. and continue to downtown Minneapolis via I-394.
There would be three morning and three afternoon trips. Service on County Road 101 would be covered by the new Route 614 while service on Excelsior Blvd. west of 11th Avenue would be served by a rerouting of Route 670.
Route 665 would be eliminated. Service on Smetana Road and 11th Avenue S. in Hopkins will be replaced with Route 664. Service at the Hopkins Park and Ride will be served by Route 670.
Route 667E would also be eliminated. New Route 614 would cover the portion of County Road 101 now served by this route. Route 671 would be rerouted to serve the portion of Minnetonka Blvd. now served by Route 667E. Service to Hwy. 7 would be added to Route 667H or Route 667B.
Route 670 currently serves Tonka Bay and communities along Hwy. 7 west of County Road 101. That portion of the line would not change.
East of County Road 101, Route 670 will be rerouted via Excelsior Blvd., Mainstreet, 11th Avenue S. and Excelsior Blvd. where it will connect with Hwy. 169.
Service on Hwy. 7 between County Road 101 and County Road 73 will be eliminated. Service on Hwy. 7 east of County Road 73 will be replaced with service on the new Route 667.
The Metropolitan Council also will accept public input through 5 p.m. April 14. Comments can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 612-602-1464 or left by voicemail at 651-602-1500.
After public comment is heard, the final plan is scheduled to be presented to Metropolitan Council on May 8.