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B Line Could Bring New Bus Lane to Lake Street

Thanks to transit funding advocacy this past summer, the B Line Bus Rapid Transit project is fully funded. Our work  and our voices make a difference! Soon, the B Line will replace the Route 21 bus which runs from Selby Ave in Saint Paul through Lake Street in Minneapolis. But before that, Metro Transit needs to finalize design of the route—and you can help.

Currently, the corridor has some of the highest ridership in the Twin Cities—and some of the slowest service. Along this major route are a variety of businesses, parks, and resources that serve people in the Twin Cities, including many businesses and community spaces that serve the African, Latinx, and Native American communities who have planted their roots along the Lake Street. The addition of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) along this corridor promises improved travel times for thousands of riders daily.

In order to maximize the speed of the B Line—and best serve current riders and most effectively attract new riders—Metro Transit should employ as many “bus priority treatments” as possible. This means including things like giving green lights to buses so they can get through their routes more efficiently. Standard improvements that will come with BRT include increased stop spacing, off-board fare payment, all-door boarding, and efficient stop placement. In addition to these standard BRT improvements, Metro Transit has proposed two potential starting points for bus priority: Limited Bus Priority or Extensive Bus Priority.

A map overview of the extensive bus priority concept stretching from Saint Paul to Minneapolis
Credit: Metro Transit, B Line Corridor Plan

Metro Transit should adopt their “Extensive Bus Priority” option. It’s really good! The Extensive Bus Priority option would provide bus lanes along the entire Lake Street portion of the route, from Dean Parkway to the Mississippi River. This kind of bus priority would be a first for the Twin Cities region—and it is desperately needed.

The B Line will provide essential access for people in communities that stretch between Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Changing signal timing is critical, but we also need improved and redesigned streets and infrastructure that prioritizes people and gets transit riders where they need to go as quickly as possible. Move Minnesota strongly supports bringing a bus lane to Lake Street when the B Line is built. We encourage you to do the same!

The Route 12G bus on a bus only lane in Minneapolis
Credit: Metro Transit, B Line Corridor Plan

Metro Transit is collecting comments on what level of Bus Priority the B Line should receive through the end of March 22 (today). Submit your comments in support of the overall plan and push for Extensive Bus Priority (even just saying “I want a full bus lane on Lake Street! Please build the extensive bus priority option—it is critical this route move as quickly as effectively as possible to support our communities and our future” is enough to make a big difference!). This project needs to move forward with the opportunity to change how streets are designed to prioritize people and transit.