Midtown Corridor Transit Alternatives Analysis

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Located in the heart of south Minneapolis, the bustling Midtown Corridor features dense, multi-cultural residential neighborhoods, a thriving commercial district, several major employers, and robust connections to the regional transit network. The corridor consists of the area bounded by Lake Street and the Midtown Greenway, a former railroad corridor now home to a major regional trail. While high-frequency local and limited-stop bus routes provide high levels of service in the 4.4-mile corridor, traffic congestion and high ridership lead to very slow operating speeds. SRF explored various mode and alignment improvements to increase the speed and appeal of transit service throughout the corridor.

The Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis project included:

  • Extensive stakeholder engagement activities
  • Identification of corridor transportation needs
  • Analysis of land use plans and demographic projections
  • Transit alternative concept development and preliminary layouts
  • Detailed evaluation of potential corridor modes and alignments
  • Detailed ridership forecasting and evaluation of ridership characteristics

SRF evaluated several wide-ranging alternatives including streetcar and bus rapid transit (BRT) on Lake Street and streetcar, light rail, and dedicated busway along the Midtown Greenway. Analyzed elements involved ridership, mobility, efficiency, cost effectiveness, environmental impacts, regional balance, and economic development impacts. At the conclusion of the technical study, policy leaders endorsed a dual solution alternative that involves implementing BRT service along Lake Street and streetcar service within the Midtown Greenway.

CLIENT: Metro Transit