Here's yet another sign that summer is over: buses returned to full service on Nicollet Mall Sept. 25. The three-month pilot took buses off the mall 6:30-11 p.m., to make outdoor dining more palatable -- though some riders complained of being moved to stops as much as three blocks away.
Metro Transit and the Downtown Council will gauge opinions on the change through surveys of bus riders, mall businesses and customers, and neighborhood residents. The responses will determine whether the change will happen next summer -- or become permanent.
While survey results will be released later this year, Downtown Council Vice President Michael McLaughlin said businesses and Nicollet Mall diners seemed to like the detour. Metro Transit had received "a couple hundred calls" by mid-August from people who did not like the reroute, said Bob Gibbons, Metro Transit director of customer services. Gibbons added that those who opposed were more likely to call than people who liked the reroute.
Following an Aug. 15 story on the reroute, this paper received a couple of calls from seniors who said that the detour to Hennepin Avenue inconvenienced seniors and people with disabilities.