Minneapolis Leans Into Bus Rapid Transit

The city wants to become North America’s ‘bus rapid transit capital.’

1 minute read

December 13, 2022, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Metro Transit Minneapolis

miker / Shutterstock

With the opening of its fifth bus rapid transit (BRT) line, Minneapolis is on its way to achieving its goal of becoming “the bus rapid transit capital of North America,” reports Jared Brey in Governing. “In all, the project includes 61 new bus shelters, 78 crosswalk restripings, 24 traffic signal upgrades and 246 electric heaters, which can be turned on by passengers at the press of a button.”

Unlike regular bus service, Metro’s BRT lines only stop at dedicated bus platforms every quarter- to half-mile. Riders pay their fares, before boarding, at well-lit stations with electric heaters and digital signs showing schedules and real-time arrival information. The buses are scheduled to come every 10-15 minutes.

Faster and more reliable than regular buses and cheaper to build than rail, bus rapid transit has seen ridership recover faster than other modes in Minneapolis after losing riders to the pandemic. According to Katie Roth, the director of arterial bus rapid transit at Metro Transit, introducing BRT boosted ridership on the system overall: “other bus lines in the Metro system saw 30 percent increases in ridership when they were switched to BRT, Roth says.”

Metro Transit has six more BRT lines in the works.

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