The Duluth Transit Authority has a name for its upcoming high-frequency service routes: blue and green Go Lines.

"These Go Line routes will play a key role in forging an attractive new system," DTA General Manager Rod Fournier said. "We are very excited to give the public a taste of these routes, which will have their own branding, simple navigation, and offer very attractive and efficient trips with 15-minute frequencies during key travel times.”

The Go Lines will represent the backbone of the DTA's service, and be distinguished from the DTA’s other services, which are also being pared to 14 simplified routes versus the network's existing 33 routes. In addition to appearing at stops every 15 minutes, the Go Lines will feature limited stops, creating a more rapid service "to get you from point A to B quicker," a DTA news release said.

The blue line will operate from Spirit Valley to downtown and on to the University of Minnesota Duluth by traveling on Grand Avenue, Superior Street and 21st Avenue East. The green line will operate from downtown to Miller Hill Mall and on to Walmart by traveling on Superior Street, Sixth Avenue East and Central Entrance.


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Beginning next summer, the Go Lines will be part of a broader DTA vision to transform those routes into arterial bus rapid transit lines, which, the DTA says, will require large capital investments in buses, stops and stations, and technology.

Bus rapid transit comes at a fraction of the cost of installing light rail, while carting some of the benefits. BRT lines, as they're commonly called, can preempt traffic signals, use larger buses, rely on prepayment machines, and feature boarding stations level with bus floors efficiencies that add up to a shorter ride.

“With the combination of the two Go-Line routes, and the increased frequency all day and on the weekends, we are looking forward to seeing how these system improvements will benefit the communities we serve,” said Chris Belden, the DTA's director of planning.

The DTA board of directors approved a redesigned network last summer. The network will expand its well-utilized weekend service by 25% and prioritize connecting more people to key destinations, including high-density focus areas, including the Spirit Valley neighborhood in West Duluth, Lincoln Park, downtown Duluth and Superior, where riders are expected to see improvements in wait times.

Back in Duluth, one proposed new line would provide a continuous route running the length of the city from the Gary-New Duluth to Lakeside neighborhoods. The current system doesn't allow a rider to do that without alighting.

In terms of equity, the DTA says the plan better serves minority and low-income households by providing increased access to frequent service.

The proposed redesign followed a survey conducted by the DTA earlier this year, which showed respondents favoring a less complicated system with higher frequency service.