Wednesday June 7th 2023

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Transit: The cacophony of the 6


In 1999, Jennifer Lopez released an album titled “On the 6.” Of course, she meant the New York subway line, not the Minneapolis bus line, but I digress: rather than being musical, the cacophony of letters on the southbound 6 are a pain in the neck.

There are two versions of the 6 northbound: 6 and 6U. 6 goes downtown and 6U goes through downtown to the University of Minnesota. However, going southbound, we have eight letters to contend with. My friends at think this is “Ludacris,” and I agree. I propose a Great Simplification:

”¢ 6A ”“ To 36th and Hennepin. Only runs twice a day, and is intended as a “helper” bus to relieve overcrowding in the Uptown area at the height of rush hour. This bus can be kept as is.

”¢ 6B ”“ Southdale via Wooddale. Hardly anyone gets on or off on the Wooddale branch except at rush hour. Move Wooddale buses to France Ave. off-peak and running an express route with a different number, say 556, to serve Wooddale at rush hour.

”¢ 6C ”“ Southdale via Xerxes. Keep this route but renumber it 6X ”“ X for Xerxes. I know Metro usually uses X to denote a bus headed to the garage, but this is a worthwhile exception.

”¢ 6D ”“ Southdale via France. Keep this route but renumber it 6F ”“ F for France. Same logic as above.

”¢ 6E ”“ Fuddruckers via Xerxes. I recommend cutting this route off at Southdale and run a shuttle with a separate number, say 506, to Fuddruckers. Perhaps a smaller bus could be used and go directly to building doors, so people won”™t have to walk so far.

”¢ 6F ”“ Fuddruckers via France. Same recommendation as 6E.

”¢ 6G ”“ 50th and Xerxes. Runs school days only, primarily for Southwest High School students, though legally anyone can ride them. These could be kept as is, but renumbered 6H ”“ H for High School. Though 6S ”“ S for Southwest or S for School is tempting, people might mistakenly think it”™s S for Southdale.

”¢ 6K ”“ Edina Industrial Park. This area should be served by a shuttle starting at Southdale, similar to the one replacing the E and F. Perhaps its number could be 506P ”“ P for Park. The letter I (which would be for Industry) is never used due to its similarity to a 1.

Voila! Four letters instead of eight!

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