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AEDS, Little Africa welcome the A-Line

photo courtesy of Kathy Graul of Metro Transit

Have you seen a fancy new bus running along Snelling Ave? That’s the A-Line! The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) A-Line started running between the Rosedale Transit Center and 46th Street Station at 10:00 am on Saturday, June 11th. The opening ceremony brought community connections, along with a hope for increased visibility and economic opportunity for Little Africa business owners.

AEDS staff set up an info table to engage visitors in conversations about AEDS and Little Africa

AEDS staff set up an info table to engage visitors in conversations about AEDS and Little Africa

Launch party festivities took place near Snelling and University Ave on Saturday morning and afternoon. Acoustic music, dancing, face-painting, and lively conversation attracted local residents and passersby. About a dozen organizations, including small businesses and nonprofits, set up tables to engage with visitors and talk with them about their work in the neighborhood. Our staff had our own table to represent AEDS and Little Africa. We introduced ourselves to visitors, invited them to our upcoming Little Africa Fest on August 13th, and presented a map of local African immigrant businesses so people who had never heard of Little Africa before could visualize it. We also made new connections with community members and had some great conversations!

Samson Zeleke, owner of Samson Custom Upholstery on Snelling Ave., participated in the first bus ride

Samson Zeleke, owner of Samson Custom Upholstery on Snelling Ave., was honored to be one of the first A-Line riders.

Little Africa business owners were among the several dozen community members invited to ride the first A-Line bus. Samson Zeleke, who opened his upholstery business on Snelling Ave. five years ago, shared his support of the new bus service: “I think it’s very good for immigrants and businesses. Most immigrants, when they first come [to America], don’t drive. A lot of people get frustrated with driving,” Samson relayed. He looked forward to the A-Line making his business more accessible to customers, especially immigrants.

The A-Line is a new type of rapid bus transit for the Twin Cities, and will cut the length of time it takes to travel between Rosedale and 46th Street Station by 25%. Instead of paying onboard, travelers will buy a ticket or use a Go-To Card at the station before getting on the bus. Service will run every 10 minutes throughout most of the day and include fewer stops.

The A-Line will connect with the METRO Blue Line at 46th Street Station and the METRO Green Line at Snelling & University Station and other destinations including Hamline University, Macalester College, Highland Village, Rosedale Transit Center, HarMar Mall, Minnehaha Park, and the Midway area. Visit http://www.metrotransit.org/a-line-project-faqs for more info.

Posted in: Company News, Little Africa of Minnesota, Press

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