Sen. Melissa Wiklund: A visit to Minnesota’s busiest transit station
It was my pleasure to welcome my colleagues on the Senate Capital Investment Committee to Bloomington today, to tour proposed bonding projects. There are several projects in my district seeking state support, and learning about them firsthand helps legislators understand the importance of completing them.
A key project that we toured was the Mall of America Transit Station, a crucial hub that is in need of an overhaul. According to Metro Transit, this is the busiest single station in their system with millions of workers and shoppers using it every year. Already, 20% of the Mall’s full-time workers take transit to get there and half of the station’s passengers are traveling to shop at the Mall. The ongoing expansion of the Mall of America will only increase the demand for transit at this station.
The proposed renovations will address the efficiency of this station. Currently, Metro Transit buses enter into the station through a security entrance that is also used by contractors, Mall employees, and delivery trucks. The heavy traffic through this single gate causes significant delays and headaches. The overhaul will provide a new entrance for bus use only, cutting down on these delays while also eliminating the need for buses to cross nearby light rail tracks.
Another benefit of this new proposed entrance is that the number of bus gates can be increased from its four current gates to 17, including one for the Red Line bus rapid transit which connects the Mall to Apple Valley. As we seek to build out and improve our transit network in the metro area, this project is one that can improve the whole region’s ability to provide high-quality transit opportunities.
Minnesotans see how busy this station is, and I’m hopeful we can make the investments needed to improve this station.