Oakdale officials are studying new rapid-transit bus lines along a 26-mile route from Minneapolis to Stillwater.
At a meeting on Tuesday, members of the city council were presented with four options for bus service along State Highway 36. Options combine rapid-transit bus service and conventional buses to take passengers on commuter routes.
The cost of the as-yet-unknown line for any of the four options would range from $75 million to $110 million.
The line will be similar to other rapid-transit bus lines, serving several local stops every 15 minutes. Rapid-transit buses travel on their own dedicated bridges and roadways at some times, and at other times share lanes with traffic. The lines are financed by the federal government, cities and counties.
One option would be running rapid-transit buses from Minneapolis to Stillwater. The three others will provide rapid-transit service from Minneapolis to Rice Street in Little Canada, Maplewood Mall or Hadley Avenue in Oakdale, then use conventional buses or ride-hailing services to complete the journey to Stillwater.
Other proposed rapid-transit lines include the Gold Line from St. Paul to Woodbury, and the Purple Line – formerly the Rush Line – from St. Paul to White Bear Lake.
At a cost of $4 million-per-mile for the Minneapolis-Stillwater rapid-transit option, it will be cheaper—compared to the $31 million-per-mile cost of the Purple Line and $53 million for the Gold Line.
A survey submitted to the city council reported that 73 percent of the 1,200 residents along the Highway 36 corridor were interested in riding some form of public transport.