Light rail temporarily replaced with bus service between airport and MOA

A section of Metro Transit’s Blue Line stations between Mall of America and the airport are temporarily switching to bus lines during a construction project.

Metro Transit said the $15 million project will repair broken rails, signals and streets.

As a result, some Bloomington stations will be closed until August 15.

“It (transportation) allows people to move. It’s harder to walk if they don’t have a vehicle,” said Metro Transit customer Rachael Brown.

When Brown takes family trips to the Mall of America, the blue line is a straight shot to his destination.

With the construction of the light rail, the bus line is its only option.

“You have to take so many buses to get here and I live all the way to Brooklyn Park, so sometimes you have to take four buses,” Brown said.

It’s the new reality for some passengers as Metro Transit launches the largest blue line project in history.

” Its very important for us. This is for the life of the blue line. We’ve never had a project of this scope and scale,” said Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr.

Kerr said it’s time to refresh the system to ensure it’s ready for passengers for decades to come.

“One of the things we’re doing is replacing about half a mile of track. Especially in those curved sections. After 20 years there have been a million trips on the blue line and that track is wearing out and needs to be replaced,” Kerr said.

The project also includes upgrading the technology that runs the Blue Line security system.

During construction, trains will not run between Terminal 2 at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and Mall of America until August 15

In the meantime, metro buses will replace the routes.

Officials call the construction project a short-term pain for a long-term gain.

“It’s really disturbing, but it’s a lot of work. It’s really important to the longevity of this line,” Kerr said.

Metro Transit officials said bus routes can take longer for passengers to arrive at their destination, so it’s important to allow for extra time.

Customers can receive additional information by calling 612-373-3333.

Melvin Z. Madore