Regional transportation plans identified Hwy 169 between Hwy 41 and Hwy 55 as an ideal corridor for transit and mobility improvements. Moreover, statewide plans and community leaders have noted the importance of the Hwy 169 Corridor between Mankato and the Twin Cities as a critical link for educational institutions, businesses, and interregional freight and passenger transportation (see Hwy 169 Mobility Study - Task 2).
Highway Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Highway BRT is bus service that travels on the highway and stops only at designated stations right on or immediately adjacent to the highway. Highway BRT operates frequently from early in the morning to late at night. The results of the 2014 Highway Transitway Corridor Study (PDF) indicated that when compared to other highways across the region, Hwy 169 between downtown Minneapolis and Marschall Road in Shakopee is an ideal candidate for Highway BRT.
MnPASS Express Lanes
MnPASS is a state transportation system that provides a congestion-free travel option during peak-drive times on highways with high levels of congestion. MnPASS Express Lanes give all commuters a reliable travel choice that saves them time, increases a highway’s capacity to move more people through a corridor and allows faster, more reliable public bus service. MnPASS Express lanes are lanes on a highway that are dedicated to buses, carpools, (HOV2 +) motorcyclists or for solo motorists who pay a fee during peak-drive times. All motorists may use the lanes outside of peak-drive times.
In 2010 MnDOT completed a MnPASS System Study - Phase 2 (PDF). The study considered the feasibility of adding MnPASS Express Lanes on several highways in the Twin Cities Metro area. Currently there are MnPASS Express Lanes on I-394 between Minnetonka and Minneapolis; on I-35W between Lakeville and Minneapolis; and on I-35E between Cayuga Street and Little Canada Road in St Paul.