As Passenger Transport went to press, four public transit agencies in the west suburbs of Minneapolis and St. Paul formally launched suburb-to-suburb service connecting the towns of Plymouth, Maple Grove, Hopkins, Eden Prairie and Shakopee on Feb. 4.
The Suburban Transit Association, provider of the service branded as Route 494, comprises SouthWest Transit (SW Transit) in Eden Prairie, Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) in Burnsville, Plymouth Metrolink and Maple Grove Transit. The purpose of the new route is to increase access to major employment and commercial centers throughout the area.
The first-of-its-kind collaborative effort, funded directly by the Minnesota Legislature, began providing service with a soft opening Jan. 19. SW Transit, MVTA and Plymouth Metrolink operate the buses on the service