Metro Transit is studying 11 corridors for significant upgrades to bus service. These corridors represent high-ridership, dense locations with high potential for service improvements. Sharp-eyed readers might recognize these “rapid bus” corridors as something that is called “arterial bus rapid transit” in the 2030 Transportation Policy Plan.
So what designates a rapid bus route? Fewer stops, off-bus fare collection, all-door boarding – all equal faster service. At the open house last week, project displays showed between 20 and 30% travel time savings, depending on the corridor. Stops will become stations, with shelters, dynamic signage and possibly raised curbs and bumpouts. These look like great improvements.
Metro Transit staff told me the next step is to identify first corridors for implementation by looking at what corridors have the most potential for service improvement (and probably which are most politically feasible). The rapid bus concept will also be used in the alternatives analysis for Nicollet (sometimes called the streetcar study).