Bus rapid transit (BRT) service will be available for the first time in the Twin Cities beginning Saturday when the $112 million Red Line is put into operation. City officials will be observing its performance closely with the hope of expanding the cities’ transit network further over the next few years.
The first BRT service in the Twin Cities’ history will utilize seven buses, running 24/7 along Cedar Avenue between the Apple Valley Transit Station and the Mall of America. There will be a total of three stops along the 11-mile route—two in Apple Valley and one in Eagan.
The Red Line is the second piece of the new, modern public transportation network being implemented throughout the Twin Cities. The Hiawatha Avenue light-rail line—also known as the Blue Line—which began service in 2004, was the first piece, providing a link between the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis.
Work on the third piece of the transit network—the Central Corridor light-rail line, or Green Line—is already underway. The Green Line is currently scheduled to open sometime in 2014. Other future plans include BRT service on I-35 between Lakeville and downtown Minneapolis as well as more light-rail lines in northwest and southwest Hennepin County.