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September 2020

Network Next planning resumes

Metro Transit is resuming work on Network Next, a 20-year plan for expanding and improving the bus network. The project began in Fall 2019 with community-hosted conversations to gather input on our customers’ priorities to guide the planning process.

Network Next engagement activities were put on hold earlier this year due to COVID-19. That allowed Metro Transit staff to use the information gathered last year through public engagement to identify potential Arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridors. We also spent the month of August listening to our customers and communities near our core routes and learning how this year has changed their transit needs and priorities. The information gathered will inform near-term decisions, long-term plans, and future public engagement efforts including how community is engaged in the next steps of Network Next.

Metro Transit is now resuming community engagement on Network Next to select and prioritize the next arterial Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lines – the METRO F, G, and H lines. The process of planning improvements to the regular local and express bus network and other system improvements should resume in 2021.

Planning process and next steps

Planning Process and Next Steps Map

There are four principles guiding the planning process for arterial BRT, rooted in public engagement, Metropolitan Council transit policy, and the performance of the bus network:

  • Advance equity and reduce regional racial disparities
  • Build on success to grow ridership
  • Design a network that supports a transit-oriented lifestyle
  • Ensure the long-term sustainable growth of the bus network

Step 1: Identify (Spring 2020)
Based on these principles, Metro Transit identified 19 potential corridors to be considered for arterial BRT. Learn more about identification of the candidate corridors.

Step 2: Screen (Summer 2020)
We conducted a screening process to narrow the 19 candidates down to a set of 11 corridors to advance for more analysis. Learn more about the screening process.

Step 3: Evaluate (Fall 2020)
For each of the corridors advanced in Step 2, we’ll develop concept plans to estimate costs, ridership, and other benefits. We will evaluate the lines in more detail using evaluation criteria based on public feedback and the BRT principles listed above. These initial results will be shared for public feedback in late 2020.

Step 4: Prioritize (Winter 2020/21)
Following the public comment period on the potential BRT lines, the next step is to prioritize those corridors. The top-performing potential BRT lines will be prioritized for implementation with the goal of recommending the METRO F Line, G Line, and H Line by Spring 2021.

Get involved

Metro Transit is now seeking input from our customers and the communities we serve to narrow the list of 11 potential BRT lines to the top three corridors by the end of the year.

We will provide a variety of opportunities for the public to weigh in on which potential lines they’d use and to provide ideas on how BRT could best serve these corridors. This information will be used to select and prioritize the top three corridors. 

Here are ways that you can participate:

  1. Check out the interactive map and take this survey
  2. Set up a virtual meeting with your organization by contacting one of our outreach staff below
  3. Post a comment to one of the questions posed on our Facebook page and keep an eye out for a recorded presentation and Q&A with Metro Transit planners (will be released September 13)
  4. Subscribe to project email updates
  5. Volunteer to host a community meeting or have planners present to your organization by contacting staff outreach staff at NetworkNext@metrotransit.org

More information about engagement opportunities and future events or meetings will be posted on the engagement page.