Experimental BRT Route Debuts in Twin Cities

A $112 million BRT route is set to debut this weekend in the Twin Cities, the first route of its type in the area. Officials hope that with strong ridership, the service will become a model for statewide expansion.
June 22, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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"It is touted as light rail on rubber tires, a bus service with all the perks of rail — fast, predictable and easy to board, with nice stations and fewer stops — at a fraction of the price," writes Laurie Blake. "But as Minnesota’s first line of bus rapid transit (BRT) begins service Saturday on Cedar Avenue S. between Apple Valley and the Mall of America, officials will be watching the $112 million project closely to see if it attracts riders, with hopes of expanding it to other parts of the metro area."

“We are developing the service that we hope will become the model for the state,” said Dakota County Board Chairwoman Kathleen Gaylord. ”Everyone wants light rail. Light rail is cool, it’s sexy. But in some corridors it’s too much of an investment for what you are going to get out of it,” she said.

"The busway will have three years to prove itself — giving people and businesses time to locate along the line and car-wed suburbanites time to work it into their lives," said Arlene McCarthy, director of Metropolitan Transportation Services for the Metropolitan Council, which owns the new busway. “When you start a new service like this, you need to give it time to mature.”

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Published on Friday, June 21, 2013 in Minneapolis Star Tribune
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