NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday August 16th 2018

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Metro Transit – ABRT “D” Line to travel faster, less stops on Chicago Av

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

Do you, like so many other Phillips residents, ever have occasion to ride Metro Transit’s “legendary 5”, the Chicago Ave. bus? If so, do you dread the long, slow

ride with stops every single block, the overcrowding, the likelihood of having to listen to yet another belligerent commuter who may or may not happen to be drunk or high?

Well, the Met Council has a proposal for you! It’s called the D Line and it promises a 20-25 percent faster ride using all articulated buses with three doors each for more comfort and easier boarding and alighting. Fare payments will work like they do on light rail; you will tap your GoTo Card or buy a ticket before you get on the bus. That means less having to listen to someone argue with the driver about the fare. If they don’t pay, any confrontation will be with the Transit Police, who usually take the person off the bus or train to deal with them.

The downside of the D is that the extra speed will come at the price of not stopping every block. Stops within Phillips will be limited to Franklin Ave., 24th St., and 26th St. along Chicago Ave., and the Chicago-Lake Transit Center. However, the “regular” 5 will still run, albeit less frequently than today, for people who can’t handle a little extra walking to their destinations.

If you have ridden the bus along Snelling Ave. in Saint Paul, you may be familiar with the A Line, which runs on a similar concept, which is called Arterial Bus Rapid Transit (ABRT). The A runs concomitantly with the “regular” 84, giving people the same choice of extra speed or less walking. In the Snelling Ave. experience,

even the “slow” bus is faster and less crowded than it used to be, because many of its passengers have switched to the faster one.

You can read more about this project, and about ABRT in general, at https://www.metrotransit.org/d-line-project. Unfortunately, you have to wait until 2021 to enjoy this new service in your neighborhood. However, like many good things, this one will probably be worth the wait. Anticipation, just like the old Heinz ketchup commercial!

If you like this column, you should know that I am starting a similar one at Southside Pride this month. That column will be longer and different from this one, so please read both if you can.

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