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Transit officials pleased with new Red Line bus ridership

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Metro transit officials are content with ridership numbers so far on the new Bus Rapid Transit line on Cedar Avenue in the south suburbs, the Star Tribune reports.

The Metro Red Line launched June 22 and has averaged close to 800 rides per day on weekdays and 450 per day on weekends, the Metropolitan Council said in a press release.

The bus was free through June 30, but still, the 800 daily weekday rides puts the line on a road to hit a goal of 975 rides a day by June 2014, transit officials say. The goal is 1,600 by 2017.

The bus whisks riders along on special buses that travel the shoulders of Cedar Avenue between the Apple Valley Transit Station and the Mall of America.

The line makes five stops, with buses running every 15 minutes during peak ride times and every 30 minutes on weekends, the Pioneer Press notes. Future stops are planned for Lakeville, the newspaper notes.

The 11-mile line is key to the area's transit future, proponent Conrad deFiebre wrote last month in Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Not everyone is a fan. Critic Nick Magrino writes in Streets.MN: "It’s unfortunate that we wasted such a good color on some buses connecting the Batteries Plus in Apple Valley with the Mall of America. It’s a $117 million dollar highway improvement pretending to be a mass transit project."

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