|METRO A Line|
|Began service||June 11, 2016|
|Route type||Express bus service|
|Locale||Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota|
|Start||46th Street Station|
|Operates||55 mph (89 km/h) max|
The A Line, previously known as the Snelling Avenue Bus Rapid Transitway, is an express bus service with bus rapid transit characteristics in Twin Cities in Minnesota operated by Metro Transit. The A Line operates on the Snelling Avenue corridor, connecting to the Blue and Green light rail lines, as well as serving Hamline University, Macalester College, Highland Village, Rosedale Center, Har Mar Mall, Minnehaha Park and the Midway area.
After a few construction schedule setbacks, the line officially began operation on June 11, 2016, at a cost of $27 million. It is the first of several arterial BRT lines planned by Metro Transit, the next of which will be the C Line, planned to open in 2019. By 2030, the A Line is expected to carry 8,000 passengers per day.
The A Line utilizes several bus rapid transit features that result in service that is 6 to 8 minutes faster than existing buses on Snelling Avenue. Transit signal priority is installed at 19 of the 34 traffic signals on the line, but the lack of dedicated bus lanes prevent it from being a true bus rapid transit system.
The A Line's 20 stations are spaced further apart, have 9-inch-high (23 cm) curbs for near-level boarding, real-time bus arrival screens, larger shelters with heating and ticket vending machines for off-board payment that allows for all-door boarding.
The A Line runs every 10 minutes during daytime service on weekdays and weekends, with reduced frequencies of up to 30 minutes in the early morning and late evening.
Route 84, which previously served the Snelling Avenue corridor, was retained with 30-minute service to provide connections from the corridor to other areas.
Metro Transit has proposed an extension to the Twins Cities Army Ammunitions Plant redevelopment in Arden Hills. The extension would add 10 additional stops and would connect the University of Northwestern - St. Paul and Bethel University, as well as major employers, including Land O'Lakes, Inc. and Boston Scientific, to the broader public transportation system. No plans have been made yet for construction.