MINNEAPOLIS - Construction is starting on a new rapid bus line that Metro Transit said will result in quicker trips between downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center.
The C Line Bus Rapid Transit project will largely replace Route 19–running mostly on Penn Avenue and Olson Memorial Highway.
"It is actually just the next step to building out a regional transit system that will help us compete with peer regions across the nation," said Alene Tchourumoff, Metropolitan Council Chair.
According to Metro Transit, more than 7,000 people use Route 19 each weekday and ridership is expected to grow to 9,000 riders by 2030 on the C Line.
Like the light rail, service will operate every 10 minutes. Metro Transit said it will also be about 25 percent faster than Route 19 service. Stations will also have better features, like heating. Riders will pay their fares at the station instead of on the bus.
"You don't have to wait for a long line of people to get on the bus," said Madison Upson, a fifth grader at Lucy Laney Elementary School.
Minneapolis City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham pointed out the opportunities it will bring to north Minneapolis.
"Transportation can be taken for granted in looking at the overall process of building individual and community wealth. It can be taken for granted and overlooked. But if you stop to think about it, the pathway to reaching that end goal requires a way to get there," Cunningham said.
The C Line is part of the Penn Avenue Improvements Project partnership. Penn Avenue between West Broadway and Lowry Avenue will be reconstructed.
"Development can often be structure focused and not people focused. I'm happy to know that the people of north Minneapolis are in mind when we're considering this project. Moving forward, I want to make sure that we don't continue to make infrastructure improvements that lead to displacement, that lead to people not being able to stay where they want to live," Minneapolis Council Member Jeremiah Ellison said.
A groundbreaking on the C Line took place Tuesday morning.
The C Line will be open for service in 2019.