Rush Line planning adds 2 new stations


courtesy of Ramsey County The Rush Line bus rapid transit project will run between downtown St. Paul and White Bear Lake, using buses on dedicated lanes. A few stops — at Cook Avenue and Buerkle Road — were added following community input over the past few months.

As the Rush Line transit project continues though its environmental analysis and collects community input about stations, a few stops have been added to the route. 

The updates were shared by Ramsey County planners with the Payne-Phalen Community Council during its Jan. 22 meeting. 

The Rush Line bus rapid transit project will run from downtown St. Paul to White Bear Lake, generally running along Phalen Boulevard, the Bruce Vento bike trail and Highway 61. Buses will run in dedicated lanes on the route. 

The line’s stations will be similar to those seen on the light rail or A Line, which runs along Snelling Avenue. The stations are planned to include shelters with heat, lighting and seating, and users will pay for tickets at the station, which will show real-time arrival information.  

Among the updates was a follow-up to previous community discussions where residents asked if a pedestrian bridge from Clark Street in the Railroad Island neighborhood could be constructed to go over rail lines to the Cayuga Street Rush Line station. 

Planners said that because the neighborhood is serviced by the Route 64 bus, which passes right through the middle of the neighborhood and could bring users to the Payne Avenue Rush Line station, route planners said a pedestrian bridge would not be included in the project.

Another follow-up regarded the Arcade Street station. Previous designs had it along Phalen Boulevard. Planners said that based on community feedback, it was apparent potential users thought a station directly along Arcade Street would be better served, making it easier for users to access the station, rather than having them go down to Phalen Boulevard. 

Another change was the addition of a station at Cook Avenue near the Hmong Village shopping center and Duluth and Case Recreation Center. A majority of community input said it seemed too long of a distance between the planned Arcade Street and Maryland Avenue stations and that a stop in between would benefit the neighborhood.

Outside of the East Side, an additional station was added in Maplewood on Buerkle Road. 

The project, which has been planned since 2014, is currently in the environmental analysis phase. Planners are also working on the preliminary engineering, station-area plans and public engagement. Work in those areas will wrap up in 2020.

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2024, with operations expected to begin in 2026. 

 

—Marjorie Otto

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