New bus-only lanes in downtown Mpls. to cut commute timeby Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Transit officials say new bus-only lanes opening today in downtown Minneapolis will save time for bus riders.
A $40 million rebuild of Marquette and Second avenues includes two bus-only lanes on each street. The lanes allow buses to pass rather than wait for the buses ahead to finish loading.
Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons said the change will save riders up to 10 minutes on a trip, but he said it will require them adjust to new downtown stops.
"So when I come in from Roseville in the morning I get dropped off on Marquette. When I go home in the afternoon I need to stand on Second Avenue South because now that bus is headed back to Roseville. Everybody who comes in one street on a bus will go home on the other street," he said.
Motorists must stay out of the new designated bus lanes on Second and Marquette avenues during rush hour.
By the end of the year, the project will also include 28 new customer-waiting shelters with on-demand heat and real-time information signs that count down the departure times of bus routes.