For those wondering whether anybody would hop on Metro Transit's new rapid bus transit line, ridership figures from the first month indicate they are.
More than 120,000 rides were taken on the A-Line, which runs from Rosedale Transit Center and the Metro Blue Line Station at 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue. Service is primarily along 46th Street and Snelling Avenue.
The $27 million A Line opened June 11 and provides faster and more frequent service than traditional bus service. Operating much like a light-rail line on wheels, buses stop only at stations spaced roughly a half-mile apart and come every 10 minutes during most hours of the day. Customers pay their fares or validate their transit passes before boarding. A-Line buses also have the ability to request green lights to get through some intersections without stopping
Another 23,000 rides were taken on Route 84, which continues to provide local service along Snelling Avenue and nearby neighborhoods.
The combined average weekday ridership of 5,100 on the A Line and Route 84, is up from around 3,800 average weekday rides on Route 84 over the same period in 2015, Metro Transit figures show.
The A Line’s strong ridership is further proof that Minnesotans need transit,” said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. “Investments to improve our transit network reduce congestion for everyone, and support economic development and job creation. We need a long-term, sustainable transportation funding solution, including transit, to ensure that Minnesota has an economy that works for everyone, everywhere in Minnesota.”
The A Line is the first of 12 rapid bus lines expected to improve bus service in the region’s busiest urban corridors. Planning is currently underway for the C Line, with service on Penn Avenue between Brooklyn Center and downtown Minneapolis. When fully implemented, the rapid bus network will include more than 400 stations and cover 100 miles, providing an estimated 160,000 weekday rides, or about a third of all daily rides.
Here are the numbers released Tuesday by Metro Transit.