NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Wednesday November 20th 2019

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Transit: The August pick

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

As of Aug. 17, 2019, Metro Transit is making several minor changes to its schedules that affect the Phillips neighborhood, and a couple of major changes outside the area which are notable due to the sheer amount of change involved.

First of all, the changes in Phillips:

• Route 2 will allegedly have an extra trip added in the mornings for customers going to the U of M; however, no new schedule has been published.

• Route 5 will have about five rush hour trips abolished, its southbound run is moved from 8th to 6th St., and times will be changed slightly to reflect the new stopping place at the Mall of America.

• Route 21 will have some 21E trips which end at Wendy’s by the new Aldi changed to 21D trips which cross the river and end at Saint Thomas College. Five rush hour trips are being eliminated as well.

• Route 22 will lose one early morning trip in each direction.

• Route 53 will lose one early morning trip to Saint Paul.

• Route 111, a U of M express, will have minor time adjustments.

Now, for the two major changes in the “outside world”:

• The Green Line, as has been discussed for the past several months, will be replaced by buses on its 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. runs on weekdays, in order to give maintenance crews time to work unimpeded. (As I’ve said before, I still think Metro Transit considers the discouragement of homeless people from riding all night for shelter to be an added bonus, even if that isn’t the primary intent of this change.)

• Route 614, a suburban crosstown from Ridgedale to the 7-Hi neighborhood in Minnetonka, will be abolished due to low ridership.

It is claimed by Metro Transit that at least some of the abolished rush hour trips are due to the chronic shortage of drivers. I’ve noticed on flyers they’ve raised the starting wage to $20.44 an hour. So if you or anyone you know wants a job driving a bus, this is a good time to apply. (Among other things, I have narcolepsy. Trust me, you don’t want me driving anything, not even a bicycle, at this point in my life. At least it doesn’t matter if I pass out while writing the column, LOL!) Public transit is a lifesaver for many people like me….

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