After downtown delays, SouthWest Transit tells Minneapolis mayor buses need priority

Traffic jams on Marquette Avenue have some buses running 30 minutes late.

Transit agencies fed up with buses and passengers stuck in downtown afternoon gridlock are calling on ­Minneapolis ­officials to do more to get buses moving.

SouthWest Transit CEO Len Simich sent a letter to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey’s office last week insisting the city should give priority to buses while a block of Marquette Avenue is closed for a utility project.

For the past few weeks, more than 100 buses from four transit agencies have been using S. 2nd Avenue to detour around the closure between 10th and 11th streets. The transit agencies say traffic control agents stationed at four key intersections have been letting only one or two buses pass through at a time, then allowing other traffic to proceed while other buses wait.

“It became clear on the first day that the officers were not directed to prioritize transit above any other mode,” Simich wrote. “This lack of follow through by the city has resulted in significant delays to transit service throughout downtown Minneapolis during peak traffic hours, which has left our customers frustrated wondering why more is not being done by the city.”

On Tuesday, some buses were delayed by more than 30 minutes.

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"After downtown delays, SouthWest Transit tells Minneapolis mayor buses need priority"; by Tim Harlow; Star Tribune; June 20, 2019

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