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Monday April 23rd 2018

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Transit: Public Transit

BY JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Metro Transit is planning to run extra service temporarily while the out of town Super Bowl crowd is here to ensure they get around. That’s nice. However, what would be extra nice is if they would consider making some of the extra service permanent. Here are my thoughts on what parts of the extra service should be kept:

Route 94: Extra service every 15 minutes from noon to 7 PM on weekends, and 2 to 7 PM on weekdays. While the weekday afternoon service on this route is adequate, or at least almost so, restoring weekend service would be a boon. Route 94 used to run seven days a week, at pretty much all hours except in the middle of the night. This was cut back to weekdays during the day only once the Green Line was instituted. The problem is, while the Green Line is great for trip to stations between downtown Minneapolis and downtown Saint Paul, it is slower than the 94 for those going all the way from one end to the other. Restoring more hours to the 94 would be a blessing for people needing to travel from one downtown to the other.

Route 724: Extra service every 30 minutes from 9:30 AM to 10 PM on weekends, only from Brooklyn Center to downtown Minneapolis. As someone who used to live in Brooklyn Park, I know how excruciatingly long the 5 takes between these two places. I believe the 724 would be as big a hit on weekends as it is on weekdays.

Route 4: Extra service every 30 minutes on Sundays from 9 AM to 10 PM between downtown Minneapolis and 38th St. and Bryant Ave. S. The 4 is often overcrowded, especially on the south side. This extra service could help with that.

Light rail: Extending frequency of once every 10 minutes to 11:30 PM. This would be a real blessing. Anyone who has ever waited for a train on a freezing night will understand that 15 or 30 minute headways can be way too long.

On another note, everyone should be aware that renovation of the Mall of America transit center is underway, and the buses are all now picking up at a temporary spot. I’m not sure what the place will look like when it’s finished, but I fervently hope they don’t do away with the warm waiting area. We need it!

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