Transit riders can get a preview of what bus service along Snelling Avenue will look like starting in 2015 during an open house Thursday.

Metro Transit will show off plans for the area's second Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, or what's being branded as the A-line from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Roseville Library Community Room, 2180 Hamline Av. N.

There will be no formal presentation, but staff will share information and collect feedback about the line which will shuttle passengers between the 46th Street Station on Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis and Rosedale Center.

The A-line will operate just like the Red Line (pictured above), the BRT line that runs in bus-only lanes along Cedar Avenue from the Mall of America to transit stations in Eagan and Apple Valley. BRT lines operate in a similar fashion as light-rail trains in that they stop only at designated stations about every half-mile along the route.

With fewer stops, trips on the BRT line will be 12 minutes faster than on the current Route 84 bus, which currently serves the route. Trip time will drop from 48 minutes to 36 minutes, Metro Transit said.

The A-line will allow riders to connect with both the Blue and Green light rail lines and serve destinations such as Hamline University, Macalester College, Minnehaha Park, and the Midway and Rosedale shopping centers.

Metro Transit studied 11 corridors and determined the route along 46th Street, Ford Parkway and Snelling Avenue to be the most favorable for a BRT line.

"The line scored highly in the 12-corridor technical evaluation process and was prioritized because the conditions for success were already in place," said Metro Transit spokesman Drew Kerr. "The connections to the Metro Green Line and Metro Blue Line were also strong factors since the rail will drive near-term demand for transit in the Snelling Avenue corridor."

The agency says A-line "will be the first in a system of additional urban BRT lines to be build over the next several years."

The area's first BRT line opened last June. Operated by the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, the line provided 130,733 rides from June through December.


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