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Move Minnesota Launches New Campaign to Boost Your Bus Ride

What if there were a way to speed up our buses tomorrow?

There is.

What if there were a way to shorten our wait and transfer times without even adding buses to transit routes?

There is.

What if there were a way to improve a whole transit network—not just an individual route—in less than a year?

There is.

And because there is, Move Minnesota is launching the Boost the Bus campaign. Boost the Bus is based on a simple premise: the only real thing standing between transit riders and a significantly better transit system is political will. So let’s build political will to make some simple, powerful changes to our transit system—and secure a more just and sustainable future for all of us.

Boost the Bus is all about faster, better bus rides for more people. With this new campaign, we will advocate for simple and inexpensive solutions with the power to make a big impact. We’re starting with the High Frequency Transit Network in the Twin Cities. These are the regular-route buses that serve core corridors in dense, walkable neighborhoods in the central metro area. We’re focused here because these are some of Metro Transit’s most-used bus routes. Pushing for quick and effective fixes to this existing network will bring the functionality and convenience that riders love about Bus Rapid Transit to more local routes. That means providing stoplight priority for buses, optimizing stop location and spacing, painting bus lanes, and similar projects: all commonsense and potentially life-changing ways to get riders where they’re going much faster. The campaign will also seek out ways to make the High Frequency Network easier for more people to use and navigate.

Why look for quick fixes? Big change doesn’t have to be complicated. By advocating for simple, impactful fixes to the entire network, we can make a lot of transit trips a whole lot better. For example, giving the #18 bus automatic green lights between downtown and 46th Street would only cost about $400,000 and could speed up the bus significantly. A bus line in New York City sped up almost 20 percent after it got traffic signal priority! That’s more time with friends and family, more time doing what you love, and more people taking transit. And because these kinds of improvements are affordable and actionable, it may be possible to roll out a single solution across multiple lines, or even a whole network at once. That means improvements would benefit all riders of the system for all trips, not just riders who commute along one particular corridor.

Bus riders shouldn’t have to wait years for progress to come one new line at a time—we need improvements now. Improving transit quickly—to speed up trips for people who ride now and to expand transit ridership—is crucial. Time is precious for all of us. And for many Twin Cities transit riders—who are disproportionately people of color, essential workers, and lower income community members—a long, slow commute is more than a hassle. It’s a barrier. We need our transit system to be a fast and reliable way for people of all backgrounds to access jobs and opportunity across our region. We need to grow our transit ridership to support a healthy, connected, and climate-sustainable world.

Boost the Bus is just getting started. Join us!

Move Minnesota is hosting monthly campaign volunteer meetings. Sign up to help us prioritize the work, plan and conduct community actions, and build a better transit system today!