A Line Preview

The A Line: Snelling Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Preview

The A Line is a new kind of bus service for the Twin Cities’ busiest urban streets. Bus rapid transit – or BRT – is a package of transit enhancements that adds up to a faster trip and an improved experience that includes frequent service, train-like features, enhanced stations, enhanced security and specialized vehicles.

Matty Lang

About Matty Lang

Matty Lang has been interested in land use, transportation, and cities since he fell in love with Paris, France while studying there in 1998-1999. He is a filmmaker living in Minneapolis. He loves film, bicycling, and basketball. Follow him: Vimeo | @MattyLangMSP | Facebook

6 thoughts on “The A Line: Snelling Avenue Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Preview

  1. Nick

    I don’t get what makes it “Bus Rapid Transit” since it doesn’t look like it will run in a dedicated lane. It seems like its just “Nicer Bus That Stops at Nicer Stops.”

    1. Wayne

      When you can’t even manage to sacrifice some parking spots for transit, let alone an entire lane, you really aren’t improving anything.

      1. GlowBoy

        It may not be the bus line we really want, but it will still be an incremental improvement to have fare prepayment, signal prioritization, and not be stopping every hundred yards.

        As it is I’m not riding the bus as much as I might, because most of our urban lines do 10-14mph. On a bike I come close to equaling most of the lines near me (5, 14, 46, 23) in speed. The bike DOES beat them if my origin and destination aren’t both within a couple blocks of the lines or I have to transfer. Even a 20% improvement in speed would tilt the balance in favor of the bus for me a lot of the time.

  2. Wayne

    “A new kind of bus service” … that maybe runs slightly more on time with bus stops that consist of more than a sign and (if you’re lucky) a bench. Spacing out stops better and building shelters that are still not really as nice as the suburban park and ride ones isn’t some revolution in transit–it’s a slightly improved bus route. Let’s not pretend these ‘arterial BRT’ things are anything more than a cheapskate stopgap measure to try to eke every little bit of value out of buses without actually investing significantly in busy transit corridors.

  3. Matt SteeleMatt Steele

    Did I hear the A-Line opening was delayed a year?

    This is a step in the right direction. Hopefully once we see the A-Line success, the subsequent lines can be a little more aggressive in their positioning regarding parking changes, etc.

    Though I think we should set a goal that ABRT is, in effect, nothing special. And it should be the standard for “local bus service” within a decade. We can do it. These core urban lines serve a walk-up (rather than drive-up) land use. These core urban lines serve hundreds of thousands of riders. These core urban lines are much cheaper to build and operate than suburban park & ride lines. We could build a half dozen or more ABRT lines for the price of a Gold Line to farm-fields-turned-parking-lots in Lake Elmo.

    The real enemy of good transit in our metro is this misguided notion of regional equity in capital expenditures that fails to take into account any opportunity costs.

    1. Matty LangMatty Lang Post author

      I don’t think it will be a full year delay. It was expected to begin service towards the end of this year and now is projected at sometime in 2016, but I doubt it will be the end of 2016.

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