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  • Business leaders launch BetterBusesMSP.com, advocate for expanded aBRT

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    April 10, 2018
    Minneapolis-Saint Paul – Minneapolis-Saint Paul business leaders launched an advocacy effort today in support of expanding the region’s arterial rapid bus line (aBRT) system.
    Minneapolis-Saint Paul’s first arterial rapid bus line, the A Line, has been a huge success, with ridership growing by more than 30 percent in its first year. The A Line opened in June 2016 and runs along Snelling Avenue and Ford Parkway in Saint Paul, connecting Rosedale Center with the Blue Line 46th Street station. The C Line aBRT route, running from Brooklyn Center to downtown Minneapolis, broke ground last month.
    These rapid buses get people to their destinations faster by making fewer stops and by using design features including fare pre-payment, low-floor buses and raised curbs, and boarding from the front and back, to save time. Custom stations with shelters, enhanced lighting, real-time schedule information, and push-button heating make aBRT more comfortable as well.
    Governor Dayton’s bonding recommendations include $50 million for design, environmental work, acquisition right of way, engineering, and construction along regional express bus and busway corridors. This funding would help provide funding for the next phase of aBRT routes in addition to the A Line and C Line.
    The Minneapolis Regional Chamber, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and East Metro Strong are joining together to support aBRT funding, including a new website at BetterBusesMSP.com to help Minnesotans share their support for expanded aBRT with their elected officials. Business leaders gathered together this morning at the RosdaleTransit Center in Roseville to talk with commuters about the benefits of expanding expand aBRT to additional routes across the metro region.
    “Creating a metro-wide system of rapid bus routes will both serve existing riders better and attract new riders as well,” said Jonathan Weinhagen, President & CEO of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber. “The vast majority of transit users are headed to work or school and developing our aBRT network will strengthen our entire region.”
    “The strong ridership response to the A Line has shown that aBRT should be an important part of our transportation mix,” said B Kyle, President & CEO of the Saint Paul Area Chamber. “We must have a comprehensive transportation system in our region to help enhance access to jobs and keep pace with expected growth in the coming decades.”     
    “The A Line has achieved a 25 percent reduction in running times along that route,” said Will Schroeer, Executive Director of East Metro Strong. “Faster trips and convenient stations with amenities including real-time schedules help make aBRT an attractive and important part of our transit system. We encourage everyone to visit BetterBusesMSP.com to learn more and join our effort to support this investment.”
    Brian McClung
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