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Metro Transit has selected Robert Street for a future bus rapid transit (BRT) route coming by the end of the decade. The planned G Line will run along Robert Street to Rice Street and into Little Canada.
What Is Bus Rapid Transit?
BRT lines are a more economical transit option than light rail because they use existing infrastructure. They also offer faster service than traditional buses thanks to fewer stops, infrastructure improvements, and riders paying ahead of time so they can board from the front and rear at the same time. The routes also boast better amenities, including on-board WiFi, heated shelters, and electronic signs showing the status of the next bus.
Metro Transit already has three BRT lines with five more in the works by 2024. The G Line was selected along with two other routes—the F Line along Central and the H Line along Maryland and Como—to start work in 2025 and be completed by 2030.
The G Line
The proposed G Line BRT route will start at the Northern Dakota County Government Center on Mendota Road and head north on Robert Street toward downtown St. Paul. The route will switch over to Rice Street and continue north to Little Canada. The G Line will replace existing bus routes 62 and 68. Metro Transit expects ridership to grow from the existing 3,800 to 9,100 by 2040.
The West St. Paul City Council discussed this plan back in August, throwing their support behind the Robert Street route even though it seemed unlikely the city would make the final cut. It was announced in February that the line did make the final selection and was officially approved by the Met Council on March 24.
“I’m just really excited, and I’ve talked to a lot of folks in the east metro who are excited,” Will Schroeer, executive director of East Metro Strong, told the Pioneer Press in February. “We thought there was a strong case for Rice and Robert to go first, and we hope that the Met Council—which still has to approve these—takes a hard look at which line should go first.”
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