The D Line is a proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) line for the Route 5 bus which travels from Brooklyn Park, through Minneapolis, and ends at the Mall of America. Route 5 is one of Metro Transit’s busiest bus routes carrying about 16,000 riders each weekday. For transit riders, who are disproportionately lower income or people of color, these improvements mean a faster, more comfortable ride to your destination. If we make transit easy to use with better frequency we can also increase the number of people willing to forego a car trip in favor of a bus ride. By converting car trips to other cleaner modes of travel we can reduce our emissions.
On September 13th Metro Transit held a meeting specifically to address whether there will be a D Line stop at 48th Street and Chicago Avenue. Representatives from the Metropolitan Council were also present to listen to public comments. 48th & Chicago is a commercial node and destination which features banks, a clinic, stores, a spa, a coffee shop, a liquor store, a bike shop and several places to eat, along with other businesses. It makes sense for there to be a high-frequency transit station here. Without the D Line, bus frequency at this commercial node will be reduced to every 30 minutes (versus 10 minutes if the D Line BRT station were included). The current 48th & Chicago bus stop has a large existing ridership.
The D Line means:
- Faster, more frequent service
- Pre-boarding fare payment for faster stops
- Neighborhood-scale stations with amenities
- Enhanced security
- Larger & specialized vehicles
- Buses get traffic signal priority for faster trips
- Riders can board or exit from any of 3 bus doors
- Stations with heat, lighting, and real-time departure info
Some businesses in the area have organized against the bus stop at 48th and Chicago, and have even enlisted the services of a lobbyist. Two business owners in particular signed on to a racist letter about bus stops bringing “bad characters” who sell and use drugs. The “pro-business” arguments against the bus stop fail to acknowledge transit riders are also people with money to spend at local businesses.
Other concerns include noise/nuisance from the bus (but somehow not cars) and loss of parking (amounting to 3–4 spaces). This is currently a high frequency route with buses running every 10–15 minutes — the D Line would bring 2 additional buses per hour. Those new buses will be quieter with fewer emissions. Riders will prepay at the station before boarding, meaning less impact on traffic than a typical bus stop. Riders can enter and exit from any door, further speeding up the process.
One area where Metro Transit might legitimately be asked to tweak the design is the interaction of the bus station with the bike lane. As currently designed, the bus would stop in the bike lane.
Support better transit at 48th and Chicago! The deadline is September 20!
You can support better, faster, more frequent transit by sending a supportive comment to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please CC your council member with the email addresses provided below— especially if you live in Ward 11 (Jeremy Schroeder) and Ward 8 (Andrea Jenkins). Your council members need to hear from you. The other side is making their concerns known loud and clear. A brief sentence or two in support of the station at 48th & Chicago is enough.
- I support the D line keep the station at 48th & Chicago.
- More people will use transit
- I want this amenity in my neighborhood/city.
- It’s a commercial business node with existing high ridership.
- The cities are growing let’s plan for it by investing in transit that supports local business and reduces car trips.
- I support the D Line. Keep the station at 48th & Chicago, but please design the station so that buses do not stop in the bike lane.
- I will use the D Line to access the businesses at 48th & Chicago. Please keep the station there.
- Think of the transit users, this will make their experience better.
- All kinds of people depend on transit. Keep the 48th & Chicago station.
- Transit riders are people of all ages. Seniors also use transit to get around.
City Council contact information
- Kevin Reich (Ward 1): email@example.com
- Cam Gordon (Ward 2): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Steve Fletcher (Ward 3): email@example.com
- Phillipe Cunningham (Ward 4): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeremiah Ellison (Ward 5): email@example.com
- Abdi Warsame (Ward 6): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Lisa Goodman (Ward 7): email@example.com
- Andrea Jenkins (Council Vice-President, Ward 8): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Alondra Cano (Ward 9): email@example.com
- Lisa Bender (Council President, Ward 10): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jeremy Schroeder (Chair, Ward 11) : email@example.com
- Andrew Johnson (Ward 12): firstname.lastname@example.org
- Linea Palmisano (Ward 13): email@example.com