Southwest bus routes face cuts; April 18 hearing set

The Metropolitan Council, which oversees Metro Transit bus service, plans to raise fares a quarter in July and cut service throughout the system 10 percent.

The official hearing to discuss Southwest route cuts is April 18, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at Minneapolis City Hall, 350 S. 5th St., Room 220.

A Met Council press release said that following the April hearings, it could approve fare and service alterations once the Legislature establishes the state budget.

The target fare increase date is July. Potential service reductions would take effect in June, September or December.

Met Council officials say there hasn’t been an overall fare increase since 2001, although in 2003, the peak-hour express fares were raised to offset the 2004-05 state budget shortfall.

Although Metro Transit would get about 2.5 percent more in state funds from Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s proposed budget, that falls short of rising gas and health care costs and reduced revenues from the Motor Vehicle Sales Tax.

You can attend the hearing by registering in advance to the Metropolitan Council Data Center at 651-602-1140.

Until May 1, 5 p.m., you can also send in your comments via:

– Comment cards available on buses, at Metro Transit stores and at the hearings;

– E-mail to [email protected].mn.us;

– Fax to 651-602-1464; and/or

– Mail to Regional Data Center, Metropolitan Council, 230 E. 5th St., St. Paul, MN 55101.

SOUTHWEST ROUTE CUTS

Route 4

Richfield-downtown-New Brighton

– Northbound service between 38th & Bryant and New Brighton reduced to every 15 minutes from every 10-12 minutes 4:30-5:15 p.m. and after 6:30 p.m.

– Evening service between downtown and 50th Street would be reduced to every 30 minutes from every 15 minutes.

– 4F and 4K cut to hourly from every half-hour south of downtown.

Route 6

Southdale-Xerxes-France-Hennepin-Uptown-downtown-U of M

– Hennepin Avenue 7-9:30 a.m. and 4-6:30 p.m. weekday service cut to every 6-8 minutes from the current 4-8 minutes.

– Weekday Service on Xerxes and France to Southdale, and north of downtown would be every 30 minutes 9 a.m.-3 p.m., down from every 20 minutes.

– Saturday service cut or reduced.

Route 9

Minnetonka-Bryn Mawr-downtown

– Weekday service 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and after 7 p.m. would be eliminated on 9N west of Louisiana, 9H between Penn and Glenwood avenues.

– Weekday 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. service would become hourly, from half-hourly.

– Saturday service on route sections above eliminated before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. and otherwise operate hourly.

– All trips from downtown would start at the 7th Street garage.

Route 11

Kingfield-downtown-Columbia Heights

– Service on 4th Avenue from Lake Street to 38th Street would be eliminated after 10 p.m. (Use Route 5.)

– Service north of downtown eliminated after 11 p.m.

Route 12

Minnetonka-Uptown-downtown

– Weekday service reduced to hourly from half-hourly, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

– Eliminated on weekdays: Westbound 12:09 a.m. trip leaving Hennepin & Washington, eastbound 12:05 a.m., and 1:05 a.m. trips from Opportunity Court, and westbound trip from Uptown at 11:29 p.m.

– Reduced Saturday and Sunday service.

Route 17

Knollwood Mall-Uptown-downtown-Northeast Minneapolis

– Weekday service north of downtown after 8 p.m. eliminated.

– Weekday 17F, 17L and 17K eliminated

– Saturday and Sunday service north of downtown after 8 p.m. cut.

– Alternative service is available on routes 10 and 11.

Route 18

Bloomington-Nicollet Avenue-downtown

– Weekday service on Nicollet reduced to every 6-8 minutes from every 5-7 minutes 7-10 a.m. and 2-8 p.m.

– Weekday Nicollet service 8-11 p.m. reduced to every 12-15 minutes from every 10-15 minutes.

Route 23

Uptown-St. Paul

– Weekday rush-hour service cut to every 20 minutes from every 15 minutes.

– Weekday 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday service cut to every 30 minutes instead of every 20 minutes.

– All Uptown service after 11 p.m. cut.

Route 46

Edina-West 50th St.-Tangletown-St. Paul

– Weekday and Saturday service after 8 p.m. eliminated.

– Sunday service before 8 a.m. and after 6 p.m. eliminated.

Route 135

Washburn High-downtown-U of M

– Weekday service to and from the U of M eliminated.

– Morning service reduced to every 20 minutes from the current 15.

– Alternate U of M service available on routes 3, 16, 50 and 113.

Route 146

Downtown-West 50th-Tangletown-Edina

– Weekday service cut to every 15-30 minutes instead of every 10-30 minutes.

Route 587

Downtown-Fulton-Armatage-Edina

– Weekday northbound 6:05 a.m. trip eliminated.

– Alternate service on Route 6.