One big step toward construction of the new $54 million B Line bus rapid transit (BRT) route along Lake Street in Minneapolis and Marshall and Selby avenues in Saint Paul was taken on December 7 when the Saint Paul City Council approved a joint powers agreement with Metropolitan Council and Metro Transit.
The 12.6-mile B Line will follow much of the same corridor as the Route 21A bus, traveling from Minneapolis’ Bde Maka Ska to Saint Paul’s Union Depot. However, it will eliminate a loop to the Midway using Snelling and Hamline avenues. The B Line will connect with Selby from a short jog on Snelling, rather than at Hamline as the 21A does today.
Those who take the B Line will also be able to connect at Snelling and Dayton avenues to the A Line, a BRT route that has been running on Snelling, Ford Parkway and 46th Street between Roseville and the light-rail Blue Line in Minneapolis since 2016.
Construction of the B Line is scheduled to start in 2023, with service to begin in 2024. Construction was to start earlier, but encountered delays during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For several years, Metro Transit staff have met with local district councils, business associations, the Saint Paul Planning Commission Transportation Committee and other groups to discuss the route, stops and potential service changes. BRT service offers the advantage of faster trips with fewer stops than regular bus routes.
Riders pay before getting on the bus, and bus stations offer more amenities, such as heating and real-time bus schedule information.
While there has been general support for the B Line, the Selby stops near Hamline have raised concerns among some Lexington-Hamline neighbors who objected to stations in front of their homes.
The joint powers agreement allows Metro Transit to work with the city on improvements along Marshall, Selby, John Ireland Boulevard and Smith Avenue.
— Jane McClure
COMMENTS TERMS OF SERVICE
MyVillager welcomes comments from readers. Please include your full name and the neighborhood in which you live. Be respectful of others and stay on topic. We reserve the right to remove any comment we deem to be profane, rude, insulting or hateful. Comments will be reviewed before being published.