Wednesday June 7th 2023

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More Transit, and Less


I’ve been writing about this for over a year now, so you should know I am excited that the Orange Line starts Saturday, 4 December 2021! There will be a Grand Opening at the I-35W and Lake St. station at 1 PM, with local entertainment and food vendors from 2 to 4. The station is already open and being used by regular buses. It is a lot better than the old stops at the sides of I-35W that were at the top of crumbling staircases.

Unfortunately, along with the good news, there is bad news for transit riders in the Twin Cities. Due to a shortage of bus and train operators, schedules are being cut by 5 percent overall at the same time the Orange Line starts. Affected routes in the Phillips neighborhood are:

  • The Orange Line will replace Route 535.
  • Route 2 will run every 12 minutes instead of every 10.
  • Route 5 will have schedule times adjusted to reflect actual travel times and will run every 10 minutes.
  • Route 9 will have schedule times adjusted to reflect actual travel times.
  • Route 11 times will be adjusted for better connections with the new Orange Line.
  • Routes 14 and 22 will adopt the Sunday schedule on Saturdays too.
  • Route 21 will have frequency adjustments on weekdays and Saturdays.

These cuts are supposed to be temporary, until enough operators are hired to restore the old schedule. If you or someone you know wants to be a bus or train driver, Metro Transit is holding hiring events, with information available on their website at Wages start at $21 per hour, with a $1,000 hiring bonus.

These have been frustrating times for transit users. Relief is in sight, however.

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