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New Metro D Line launches, connecting MOA to Brooklyn Center

New Metro D Line launches, connecting MOA to Brooklyn Center
New Metro D Line launches, connecting MOA to Brooklyn Center 02:11

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- At a time when budgets are stretched thin and the cost of transportation remains high, people in the Twin Cities have a new option to get around. 

The Metro "D Line" launched on Saturday. It's the area's newest bus rapid transit line, running from Mall of America to Brooklyn Center, with stops in Minneapolis, Richfield and Bloomington.

"One in four who live along this line do not have access to personal transportation. That's a big deal," said U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, emphasizing the need for the new bus line.

The D Line is essentially an upgrade from the long-running "Route 5."

"It is truly great to see all of this come together," said U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar. "It is crucial that we continue to invest in transit."

Compared to Route 5, those involved say the D Line will be 20-25 percent faster, safer and easier, too. Hennepin County Commissioner Angela Conley grew up one block away from Route 5, currently the busiest bus route in the Twin Cities.

"My family and I didn't have access to vehicles. We didn't have cars," said Conley. "But living one block away from the 5 we got where we needed to go. Because we were able to connect. And we can do that now in a way that's fast and efficient. So I'm pumped."

The Met Council's goal is to open 12 bus rapid transit lines by 2030. With the addition of the D line, it makes them a quarter of the way there.

"We know we're providing what customers want because ridership in other bus rapid transit corridors grew by as much as a third after service improvements were made," said Met Council Vice-Chair Molly Cummings.

"If we want to encourage more people to ride the bus we have to make it appealing to ride the bus to begin with," said Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

"We are well on our way to make this region the bus rapid transit capital of North America," said Minnesota State Rep. Frank Hornstein.

Saturday's opening comes on the very same day that the Metro Transit will start cuts to bus routes due to staffing shortages.

The D Line will have service every 10 to 15 minutes. Route 5 will now operate roughly every hour.

The total cost of the D Line project was $75 million funded by federal, state, and Met Council funds.

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