NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Sunday November 17th 2019

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Transit: Lift every voice and sing

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

I don’t know much about making freedom ring, but I do know from experience that the old adage “you can’t fight City Hall” doesn’t always apply to public transit agencies. They actually do sometimes listen to reasonable requests from the public. The key is to actually show up at public comment forums and use the channels that are designed for that purpose. I have personally influenced two bus routes, both in Saint Paul, through my comments.

I have always wanted to post information about these public meetings in this column. Unfortunately, this is a monthly newspaper with about two weeks’ lead time between the writers turning in their work and the actual paper coming out, so usually the meetings would be over before you, the reader, would get the information. Therefore, all I can do is point you to the best source of information about such things, and that is the Metro Transit website itself: https://www.metrotransit.org.

At present, there are two major projects Metro Transit is doing preliminary work on that will benefit the Southside Pride readership area: the B and D Lines.

• The D Line will provide a faster equivalent to Route 5 along Chicago Ave. While Route 5 stops every block, the D Line will only stop at Franklin Ave., 24th St., 26th St. and Lake St. in the Phillips neighborhood, with similarly limited stops along the rest of the route. This new service is expected to start in 2024.

• The B Line will provide a faster equivalent to Route 21 along Lake St. The stop pattern for the B Line is not determined yet, but I speculate it will be somewhat similar to that of current Route 53, which also runs on Lake St. but only at rush hour. The B Line will run all day.

There are other projects which will dovetail with these plans; for example, the planned Orange Line on I-35W will be dovetailed with the B Line, including a joint station at I-35W and Lake St. The Nicollet Ave. and 4th/5th Ave. S. B Line stations will also be covered by the Orange Line funding.

If you care about what happens to your transit service, please go to the public meetings associated with these projects. If that’s not feasible, email and phone contact information is usually provided on each individual project website.

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