Metro Transit's quest to find a speedier option to connect the Twin Cities' light-rail lines and beyond is coming soon.
Starting next year, the "A Line," a $27 million bus rapid-transit project with features similar to light rail, will run along Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway in St. Paul to connect Rosedale Center in Roseville to the 46th Street light-rail station in Minneapolis.
The line will be the first of a dozen bus rapid-transit lines that the Metropolitan Council has proposed in recent years. It comes at a time when more Americans are settling in the urban core, reversing a decades-long trend of moving out to the suburbs.
In 2013, a rapid bus line opened along Cedar Avenue from Apple Valley to the Mall of America, running on designated shoulder lanes for part of its route. The A Line flows in street traffic.
On an average weekday, about 4,000 people ride the No. 84 bus, which serves the route now, a Metro Transit representative said. Metro Transit says ridership for the No. 84 and the A Line will more than double by 2030.
The 9.7-mile trip between Rosedale and Minneapolis on the A Line will take 35 minutes with the route's fewer stops, which is 13 minutes faster than the existing route, according to a Metro Transit report.