St. Paul, Minn.— Senator Jim Carlson (DFL-Eagan) recently spoke at a Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) ribbon cutting for a demonstration suburb-to-suburb bus line that is unprecedented in the metro area. The line was funded through a bill carried by Carlson in the 2015 legislative session (S.F. 1487), which earned him the Suburban Transit Association’s (STA) Champion of Suburban Transit Award.
Route 494 is a demonstration project of the MVTA. Service began on January 19, and the line connects Shakopee, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, and Plymouth. It relies on cooperation between four transit providers. Senator Greg Clausen (DFL-Apple Valley) was also recognized for his bill (S.F. 1486) which authorized the STA to name an elected official to the Transportation Advisory Board. Carlson was a coauthor of the bill and helped to shepherd it through the legislative process.
In his comments at the event, Carlson said,
“Route 494 is a first-of-its-kind effort in the Twin Cities region. This is the first time a transit service has been conceived, planned, and implemented cooperatively by four separate transit providers–Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, Maple Grove Transit, Plymouth Metrolink, and SouthWest Transit. This cooperation is a testament to the effectiveness of the suburban transit model and to the leadership of the Suburban Transit Association, of which I have long been a supporter. I am very interested in watching this service succeed and look forward to replicating it in Dakota County.”