Now that the Red Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) has been up and running for five months, transportation planners are turning their attention to the next BRT line on the drawing board.

Called the Orange Line, the line would run 16 miles along Interstate 35W from Burnsville to downtown Minneapolis.

Before they get too much further along in the planning process, they are asking for the public to weigh in. Metro Transit has created a survey to get input.

The survey asks potential riders about their travel patterns and what would make the line an attractive transportation alternative to driving.

One question of importance to planners is to know what type of station would appeal to riders who would board at the American Boulevard Station in Bloomington. Currently two options are under consideration. One would place a station in the median of I-35W at American Boulevard. The second would create two sidewalk bus stops on Knox Avenue at 76th Street near the Best Buy headquarters and a second on Knox at American Blvd.

The survey also asks how important it is to have a station at 98th Street and 35W.

Other stops would be 66th Street, 46th Street, Lake Street along with stops on Marquette Avenue at 11th Street, 9th Street, 7th Street and 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis.

BRT lines operate in a similar fashion as light-rail trains stopping only designated stations.

The I-35 corridor is the most heavily-traveled express bus corridor in the metro area. Each day, more than 14,000 passengers take the bus between downtown Minneapolis and the southern suburbs.

Now that the METRO Red Line is up and operating along Cedar Avenue (and doing very well!), Metro Transit is collecting survey information to help them plan the next bus rapid transit line for I-35W (the METRO Orange Line).  Given that this is a key corridor for MVTA riders, we encourage you to weigh in on the priorities for South Bloomington Transit Station (98th Street) and the preferred alignment for a station in the vicinity of I 35W/American Boulevard.

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