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Q&A: How Fridley Got a New Bus Route

Route 810, which starts next week, was years in the works.

It's not every day that a city gets a new bus route that runs entirely within its borders. In fact, it's not every year that Metro Transit starts a new bus route.

Fridley Patch asked Cyndi Harper, manager of route planning for Metro Transit, about the origins of , March 5, 2012. Here is what she said, via email:

Fridley Patch: Can you please tell me about how Route 810 came to be?

Cyndi Harper: Route 810 is the result of a partnership between Metro Transit, the City of Fridley and . The City and Medtronic first approached Metro Transit even before the train started operating, interested in looking at ways to leverage the new service to help people get to jobs in Fridley. The City and Medtronic helped us survey potential users to determine if there was sufficient demand. When Jobs Access and Reverse Commute grant funds became available to pay for half of the operating costs, both the City and Medtronic helped with our grant application by including letters of support.

Fridley Patch: Is this similar to what other Northstar stations have or a first of its kind?

Harper: We do not have any other service that is geared towards getting Northstar passengers to jobs in places other than downtown Minneapolis. We have previously tried service designed to bring people to the Northstar station to get downtown. [Editor's note: Northstar Link coach service between Big Lake and Becker/St. Cloud, operated by St. Cloud Metro Bus, is meant in part to connect Twin Cities workers to those communities, according to Metro Transit spokesman John Siqveland.]

Fridley Patch: How many new routes has Metro Transit started in recent months or in the last year?

Harper: No new routes started operating in 2011.

Fridley Patch: Do you think its success rides on the timed Northstar connections or is there another reason for the route?

Harper: The potential success of the route will rely primarily on its connections with Northstar, both to bring people living in other cities along the train line to jobs in Fridley as well as bringing residents near Mississippi St in Fridley to the train to make connections downtown or to other communities along the Northstar Line.

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