Metro Red Line + MVTA = A Great Ride to the Zoo

By Hilary Reeves, Communications Director

When the Metro Red Line opens on June 22, it will be the region’s first station-to-station Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line. It will travel on bus-only shoulder lanes along Cedar Avenue, with stations at Apple Valley Transit Station, 147th Street, 140th Street, Cedar Grove station in Eagan, and the Mall of America, where connections can be made to the Blue Line (aka the Hiawatha light rail line). Unlike commuter bus service, the Red Line BRT will run frequently all day, every day—so frequently you won’t need a schedule, says the Metropolitan Council. The operating hours will be from 5 a.m. to midnight, Monday through Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to midnight, Saturday and Sunday.


Metro Red Line buses will serve each station with level boarding, real-time signs, and other transit advantages, much like service on the light rail (LRT). Credit: Metropolitan Council.


When the Red Line opens June 22, some MVTA bus routes will change to feed to and from the Line. Commuter bus service will not change. Credit: Metropolitan Council.

With the expansion of the transit network in the south metro, the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) will adjust bus schedules to feed into the Red Line and back. While commuter buses from the MVTA will not change, the combination of bus, BRT, and LRT will make it easier to get to key destinations by transit.

One MVTA route adjustment will give families an affordable way to get to the Minnesota Zoo. Starting June 22, take the Red Line to the Cedar Grove Station (ask for a transfer) and catch the MVTA bus for a 15 minute ride to the Zoo, with hourly service every day of the week, from morning to early evening. Kids under 5 years old travel for free (the limit is three free kids per one adult). The off-peak fare is $1.75 per adult or child over age 5. And, use your transfer to get discounted admission to the Zoo. Given that regular Zoo admission is $12.00-$16.00 and parking for cars is $6.00, the Red Line-MVTA combo could be a money-saving option!

If you’ve got tickets to one of the summer concerts at Minnesota Zoo’s Weesner Family Amphitheater this summer, MVTA also is offering special express bus service (route 475) from the University of Minnesota through downtown Minneapolis to the Cedar Grove Transit station, arriving at the Zoo by 7:00 p.m. for 7:30 concerts. Buses will leave the Zoo at 10:30 p.m. The fare is $5.00 round trip, paid as riders board the bus to the Zoo. The Zoo concert series runs through the end of August. For more information about the special route, click here.

Thanks to Robin Selvig at MVTA for her help with details about changing service.