SouthWest Transit CEO asks Minneapolis to give buses priority in construction traffic

As bus riders face delays in the face of increasing traffic in Minneapolis, SouthWest Transit is asking for buses to be given priority over other drivers.

In a letter to Mayor Jacob Frey, SouthWest Transit CEO Len Simich says the vault reconstruction has become a problem for buses along Marquette Avenue between 10th and 11th. Simich says the construction there has led to lengthy delays for riders.

In the letter, Simich says that while plans were made before the project, the city has failed to follow with an order to give buses priority over regular traffic.

"A significant part of the plan was to station traffic control officers at key intersections to ensure buses moved on schedule," writes Simich. "While traffic control officers were stationed at key intersections, it became clear on the first day that the officers were not directed to prioritize transit above any other mode. We know this because we had a traffic officer tell us as much."

Simich is calling on the City of Minneapolis to now implement that order for the current project and all future road construction.

Along with the criticism, Simich did praise the city for its efforts to keep the public transit company informed about future construction problems.