Transitway Corridor Planning
The Red Rock Corridor is a proposed 20-mile transitway, connecting the Twin Cities' southeastern suburbs to downtown Saint Paul. Bus rapid transit service will originate in Hastings and stop in Cottage Grove, Newport, and St. Paul's Battle Creek neighborhood before connecting to Union Depot. Riders will be able to access many destinations from Union Depot using other transit services like express buses, local buses, METRO Green Line LRT, and METRO Gold Line BRT.
An Implementation Plan completed in early 2017 includes financial, development, and service plans that build towards the long-term goal of more transit service in the Red Rock Corridor. The Implementation Plan uses a phased approach presenting both near-term and long-term strategies and recommendations. Near-term recommendations (Phase I) focus on increasing local and express bus service and building transit ridership in the corridor. The plan contains multiple recommendations that include working with Metro Transit to maintain and increase corridor transit service. In addition to building ridership, another important near-term recommendation that has been successfully implemented was to work with cities within the corridor to update their comprehensive plans with increased population and job densities within the station areas. These recommendations will help the corridor to move towards full bus rapid transit implementation once expected ridership reaches regional benchmarks.
Activities related to the Red Rock Corridor are guided by the Red Rock Corridor Commission (RRCC), of which Washington County is a member. The RRCC is a joint powers board of local elected officials from the counties and communities along the corridor, brought together by the common pursuit of improving multimodal transportation options along Highway 61 in the southeast metro. The Red Rock Corridor website is the primary source for project background information, the latest news about the corridor, and announcements for upcoming meetings and events.
The Rush Line Corridor is an 80-mile travel corridor between St. Paul and Hinckley, consisting of 23 urban, suburban and rural communities linked by a common need to be mobile and connected. The Rush Line Corridor Task Force partners with its members and transit agencies to invest in improved transit service, including new express bus routes and improved park and ride facilities, to increase the availability of reliable, convenient and affordable transportation choices. The corridor links growing communities that range from urban neighborhoods to suburbs and beyond to include rural cities and townships. Total corridor population is forecast to increase by 43 percent between 2000 and 2030, an increase of more than 158,000 people.
The Rush Line Corridor was evaluated for bus and rail alternatives within the 30-mile study area between Forest Lake and the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul beginning in 2014. The evaluation, called a "pre-project development study," built on the 2009 Rush Line Corridor Alternatives Analysis, which identified two promising transit corridors within the Interstate 35E/35 and the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority right-of-way.
Following a three-year development and evaluation process, coupled with extensive public engagement activities, a policy committee recommended a 13-mile bus rapid transit, or BRT. route between the downtowns of St. Paul and White Bear Lake as the locally preferred alternative or LPA. The LPA is the transit investment alternative that best meets the purpose and need for the project and is competitive for funding through the Federal Transit Administration’s New/Small Starts capital funding program. The LPA for BRT within a dedicated guideway from Union Depot in downtown St. Paul to downtown White Bear Lake, running generally along Robert Street, Phalen Boulevard, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority right-of-way, and Highway 61, was selected in 2017. The guideway will be co-located with the Bruce Vento Trail through the portion of the route that uses the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority right-of-way.
The Rush Line Corridor website is the primary source for project background information, the latest news about the corridor, and announcements for meetings and events.