ST. PAUL, Minn. – The opening of the Green Line Light Rail line between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis will result in large changes in bus service along the route.
Some bus routes will be stopped altogether, while others will be altered.
The idea of the bus changes is to avoid duplication of service while increasing or starting service on other routes when the Green Line opens on Saturday.
Metro Transit spokespersons call the changes a "reinvestment" of resources within the system.
"We are having the largest bus restructuring that we have had in a decade," said John Siqveland, Metro Transit spokesperson. "Essentially, what we are doing is taking those service hours that were running here on University Avenue and some on Interstate 94 and reducing those because the train will be covering those trips."
There will be necessary adjustments for many commuters due to the changes. In some cases, as in reduced express bus service between St. Paul and Minneapolis, commutes may lengthen by 20 minutes or more. That is simply because riders would be moving from express service on the interstate 94 bus to limited service on the trains which stop at each station.
Regular riders on the No. 50 bus on University will have to consider the train alternative since that route will disappear on Saturday. The No. 16 bus on University will continue, but at a much reduced frequency and will no longer carry passengers all the way into downtown Minneapolis. Beginning on Saturday, it will complete its run at the Stadium Village station at the University of Minnesota.
Metro Transit has already had representatives on some of the bus routes to explain to commuters how the changes will affect them. Metro Transit has brochures ready with maps showing where the bus routes and times will be starting on Saturday.
"The one stop shop for all of those changes that are coming along with the Green Line is at MetroTransit.org/greenline," said Siqueland. "There, you can access the rail schedule, information about how to ride light rail and also, all of that connecting bus service. All of it is available right there at MetroTransit.org/greenline or you can call us at 612-373-3333 and speak with a transit expert."