METRO Purple Line Receives Federal Approval in Twin Cities

Federal approval has been given on METRO’s proposed Purple line, a 15-mile bus rapid transit line serving communities in Twin Cities, Minnesota.

The Purple Line will operate using electric buses in dedicated transit lanes to provide a frequent, fast, and reliable service. The route aims to increase accessibility to jobs, housing, and services, such as the Children’s Specialty Healthcare hospitals in Saint Paul,  St. John’s Hospital in Maplewood, and the Maplewood Mall. The service will also connect to Saint Paul’s central business district and downtown White Bear Lake.

METRO Purple Line that has received federal approval
A map of the proposed METRO Purple Line
Metropolitan Council Chair, Charlie Zelle, said:

“The Metropolitan Council is proud to prioritise this East Metro investment. With our local government partners, including Ramsey County, we look forward to seeing the significant economic, social, and environmental benefit the Purple Line will bring to our region.”

Seven new dedicated guideway bridges will be constructed along the route, as well as three new park-and-ride facilities. In October 2021, these new infrastructure plans passed an environmental assessment and received a Finding of No Significant Impact during the final stage of the environmental review process.

The new line will also include 21 lit and heated stations with level boarding, off-board fare collection, and real-time bus schedule information. Station area planning is taking place to ensure safe and direct station access.

METRO Transit Bus Shelter rendering
A rendering for a METRO Transit bus shelter

The project has an estimated capital cost of 445 million USD, with 218 million USD being sought from New Starts, a federal transit grant programme.  The current timeline plans for construction to begin in 2024. Upon completion, the bus rapid transit line would start operations in 2026.

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