To entice people to try the new Cedar Avenue bus rapid transit (BRT) line, which opens June 22, transit agencies are offering free rides on the corridor and connecting routes from opening day through June 30.

The BRT, known as the Red Line on the metro transit map, will loop continuously between Apple Valley and the Mall of America in Bloomington along Cedar Avenue.

Buses will operate every 15 minutes during peak travel periods, from approximately 5 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and from 7:30 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday. On nights and weekends, service will be every 30 minutes.

The buses will stop at the Apple Valley Transit Station and at stations at 147th Street and 140th Street in Apple Valley, and at the Cedar Grove station in Eagan.

Rides on connecting local Minnesota Valley Transit Authority buses Routes 420, 438, 440, 442, 444, 445 will also be free from June 22 through June 30.

An opening day event featuring officials who have participated in the project is scheduled for noon June 22 at the Apple Valley Transit Station.

Construction on upgrades to the Cedar corridor started in April 2009. Crews have added and widened shoulder lanes, built stations and made other improvements to prepare for the new service.

The $112 million busway is the largest construction project in Dakota County’s history.

For more information, see

Laurie Blake