Starting Monday, bus riders in the east metro will have a new place to park and catch a ride to downtown Minneapolis.
Metro Transit will hold a grand opening for the new 280-space Park and Ride lot at Hwy. 36 and Rice Street in Little Canada. It also will kick off new express bus service from the lot to downtown Minneapolis.
Route 263 will offer seven trips during the morning and evening rush hours. It will use bus-only shoulders, ramp bypasses and the bus-only lanes on Marquette and 2nd Avenues in downtown Minneapolis. The trip should take about 25 minutes, Metro Transit officials said.
Local bus and limited-stop routes 62 and 262 to downtown St. Paul also will serve the lot.
"The highway 36 and Rice Street Park and Ride will offer an additional choice for transit customers and provide a fast and convenient commuting option," said General Manager Brian Lamb.
The new, accessible from County Road B, lot is expected to serve riders who formerly parked at Rosedale Center. Metro Transit closed its lot at the mall and directed users to lots at I-35W and County Road C and at Grace Church at County Road B2 and Hamline Avenue.
The new lot will give those displaced from Rosedale a third east metro option.
Amenities at the Rice Street lot include a lighted waiting area with on-demand heat, covered bike racks, security cameras and an electronic vehicle charging station. The lot will operate from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays.