The reviews are in for the Twin Cities’ first enhanced bus route — the A Line — and riders want more.
Metro Transit calls the service arterial Bus Rapid Transit, or “aBRT,” but the A Line has no dedicated right of way as it runs along Snelling Avenue. Instead, the A Line has features that should be common on most bus routes.
Riders pay before boarding and can get on the bus at any door. Peak service runs at least every 10 minutes. Buses do not have to merge back into traffic after picking up riders. After consolidating stops, the A Line now stops about every half-mile along the 10-mile route. Traffic signals hold green lights for buses. And the stations are well-equipped with shelters, arrival displays, and bike racks.
Ridership has increased 30 percent since the $27 million A Line upgrades were completed in 2016, writes William Schroeer, executive director of the transit advocacy group East Metro Strong.