February 10, 2011 at 8:31 a.m.

Two St. Paul commuter bus routes become express routes, direct from Forest Lake

Two St. Paul commuter bus routes become express routes, direct from Forest Lake
Two St. Paul commuter bus routes become express routes, direct from Forest Lake

The Rush Line bus route to St. Paul out of the Forest Lake area hasn't seen the level of ridership planners had envisioned, so changes are being made to attract patrons. Linda Nanko-Yeager, Wyoming City representative for the Rush Line Task Force, said the route is seeing about 60 percent use compared to what was projected, although "a lot" of riders are coming from Chisago County addresses, she added.

Starting Monday, February 14 the coach bus Route 285 will originate out of the Transit Center just south of Forest Lake and then pick-up at Running Aces Park & Ride. (It used to be the other way around.)

The bus will then go either to White Bear Theatres complex for its first stop or to downtown St. Paul. Previously ALL routes stopped at White Bear Lake.

There are now two express routes direct to St. Paul: the middle two routes of the four offered, where riders board at Forest Lake Transit Center at 6:28 a.m. and at 6:58 a.m.

The Forest Lake pickups at 5:43 a.m. and at 7:18 a.m. will be the only two stopping at White Bear Lake.

Commuters can leave their vehicles at the Running Aces Park & Ride just off Lake Drive (same as Hwy. 97 in Washington County), turn at Zurich Street.

The Transit Center is off Hwy. 61 south of Forest Lake. Turn and head west at Headwaters Parkway, and enter the parking lot off Fitzgerald Trail (next to the Washington County Library.)

In downtown St. Paul the terminus is at Union depot on Kellogg, the bus exits off the bus lane on I-35E into St. Paul, at University Avenue.

The coach bus is a cooperative service provided by the counties and City of St. Paul who are along the corridor. The route is operated by First Transit. Cost is $3 each way.

It is important to build ridership in this first year of operations to ensure funding continues to be a priority of agencies and transit programs.

See the Rushline.org website for maps, and additional route details. Printed information is available at the Forest Lake Transit Center facility, or here at the Press office in Lindstrom.


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