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Wednesday December 1st 2021

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Metro Transit: Lake Street and I-35W Station Opens

By JOHN CHARLES WILSON

It’s finally happening! The new bus station in the middle of I-35W at Lake Street is opening Monday, 18 October 2021. (This means it’s already open by the time this issue is published. Such is the lag time inherent in a monthly newspaper.) As I’m sure everyone who’s read my column knows, it’s for the new Orange Line to Burnsville, which begins 4 December. In the meantime, Metro Transit Routes 535, 553, 578, 597, and Southwest Transit Routes 600 and 695 will be using it, joined by various MVTA express routes as of 20 November. Local Metro Transit Routes 21 and 27 will provide connections on Lake Street, just below the station.

Speaking of Lake Street, planning for the B Line, a Bus Rapid Transit line to open on Lake Street in 2024, is chugging right along. Presently, Route 21 is the slowest and second busiest route in the whole Metro Transit bus system. Anyone who’s had to ride a 21 during a rush-hour traffic jam knows it’s not a good experience. The B Line will have all-door boarding; you will buy your ticket or scan your card before getting on, like the light rail. This will save a lot of time. There won’t be as many stops, which will speed service but be hard on people who can’t walk far. For those of us who need it, the 21 will still run once every half hour, while the B Line will run every 10 minutes. The B Line may also get its own dedicated lane. If that happens, even more of a time savings will be had by all. I’ve used the similar A Line on Snelling Avenue, and it really is great!

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