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SouthWest Transit to drop Shakopee to Eden Prairie bus route

Not enough people are riding SouthWest Transit's local route 638 that runs between Shakopee and Eden Prairie, so the transit agency is ending the service.

The route serving destinations such as Eden Prairie, Eden Prairie Center, Hennepin Technical College, Amazon Corporation, St. Francis Medical Center, downtown Shakopee and the Marschall Road Transit Station will end on March 6, the transit agency said.

SouthWest said it will replace the fixed-route service with Prime. That's its Uber-style door-to-door on-demand rides to take riders to jobs, transit stations, shopping, entertainment, appointments and anywhere else they want to go. Riders use their smartphones or call SouthWest's dispatch to arrange a ride. Then one of SouthWest's 12-passenger vans is sent to pick them up.  Prime operates from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays.

For more about Prime, see the Drive's January story.

Also beginning the week of March 6, SouthWest will discontinue Friday service on Route 687, which runs between SouthWest Village Station, SouthWest Station, Mills Church Park and Ride and Target's north campus in Brooklyn Park.

The reason: low ridership. Service on Monday through Thursday will continue.

In another change, the Mills Church Park and Ride served by Route 687 will close on Wednesday. Instead, the bus will pick up and drop off at the Minnetonka Boulevard and County Road 60 (Baker Road) park and ride across the street.

MnDOT holds open house Thursday for I-94 project in Minneapolis

In just over a month, crews will get to work on a $57 million pavement rehabilitation and bridge repair project on Interstate 94 in Minneapolis that promises snarl traffic for much of the summer.

Lane closures, which include shifting motorists in both directions to one side of the Lowry Hill Tunnel for three months this spring and summer — and with narrower lanes, won't go into effect until late April.  But once they do, they'll be in place through October on a 9-mile stretch between Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis and the Hwy. 252 interchange in Brooklyn Center.

Over the course of six months, MnDOT will repair more than 50 bridges, rebuild the flyover bridge above Hwy. 252 and repave and rehabilitate the freeway that was originally constructed in the 1980s. Ramps at 49th and Dowling avenues and West Broadway will be closed at times.

“There will be [significant] traffic impacts,” said MnDOT project manager Marcell Walker, noting the ripple effect will be felt far beyond the I-94 corridor. “We don’t want to undersell it.”

For more information, you can read my story from earlier this month, or attend a public open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Building, 2117 West River Road, Minneapolis.