In conjunction with the opening of the new Bus Rapid Transit line, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority is making several schedule and route changes that will take effect Saturday.
The big one is the opening of what is being called the Metro Red Line.The BRT will use buses to move passengers from station to station much like light rail trains do now. The metro's first BRT line will operate along Cedar Avenue between the Apple Valley Transit Station and the Mall of America in Bloomington.
The Red Line will make stops at the Cedar Grove Transit Station, 140th Street and 147th Street. The plan is to have riders connect to the Blue Line trains at the Mall of America.
Red Line service will operate frequently daily until midnight. Passengers also will be able to connect to other MVTA routes at each of the BRT's stops.
Full details of schedule and route changes is posted on the MVTA web site, but here are highlights:
The route will connect to Red Line service at the Apple Valley Transit Station. It also will continue as Route 442 between Burnsville and Rosemount.
Five trips will operate weekdays between the Eagan Transit Station and the Cedar Grove Transit Station. Eastbound morning trips will run between 6:15 a.m. and 8:35 a.m. Westbound trips will operate from 3:59 p.m. and 6:19 p.m.
Service will be expanded to 7:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Buses also will extend its run to Thomas Lake Road and Thomas Center Drive. It also will replace Route 445 service on Rahn, Diffley and Nichols roads.
This route will have more frequent service and also weekend service between the Cedar Grove and Apple Valley Transit stations. Four trips a day will serve the Veteran's Medical Center during peak periods.
The biggest change is that this route will no longer serve the Mall of America. Passengers will need to use the Red Line to get to the mall.
This route also has some rerouting through Eagan and Apple Valley.
This route has been eliminated and replaced with Route 440 and the Red Line.
There will be no service north of the Apple Valley Transit Station (riders will transfer to the Red Line or Route 440 to continue their trips).
Buses will travel on Evergreen Drive between County Road 11 and Portland Avenue (except on County 42 during construction). Most routes will continue on to Burnsville and Rosemount at Route 420.
The southbound stop at County Road 5 and 136th Street has been eliminated. The schedule for other trips has been adjusted to allow for connections to the Red Line at the Cedar Grove Station.
Time changes and route shortened to eliminate stop at Mall of America.
A new 464B will provide direct service to County Road 42 and the Savage Park and Ride. Extra trips are being added.
The trip that departs the Blackhawk Park and Ride at 8:11 a.m. will begin its route at the Eagan Transit Station.
Five northbound and four southbound trips have been added to serve the Minnesota Zoo. In addition, special buses have been added from the University of Minnesota and downtown Minneapolis for nights when there are concerts at the zoo.
An additional southbound trip departing the Gateway Ramp in Minneapolis at 3 p.m. will serve the Palomino Hills Park and Ride
This route will no longer serve the Cedar Grove Transit Station. In addition, Route 477R leaving the Gateway Ramp in downtown Minneapolis at 2:59 will become a pure Route 477 and not stop at the Palomino Hills Park and Ride.
An additional northbound trip will depart from 145th Street and Diamond Path at 5:56 a.m. weekdays.