Scheduled to open in October, 2021, the Lake Street Bus Rapid Transit Station will be the new signature station for the METRO Orange Line, which connects South Minneapolis to downtown, and the I-35W express bus routes. Perkins Eastman was the lead architect in a project that sought to dramatically improve the city’s transit system with a dedicated route along I-35 West, and make it an attractive option over cars for daily commuters – using as many existing resources as possible. The central structure provides temperature-controlled waiting areas on its upper and lower levels, and its glass enclosures allow volumes of daylight, providing a pleasant experience even in the grayest days of winter. While the Orange Line runs on the upper level, the street level underneath provides an easy connection to local bus lines, cars, taxis, bicycles and pedestrian traffic. The station’s presence serves as a crucial connection between the east and west sides of Lake Street, South Minneapolis’ main thoroughfare, which adds immense value to the surrounding community. It also creates connections to the nearby Midtown Greenway bike trail to enhance the area’s already-popular bike-commuting culture. The entire station is ADA accessible, providing a significant upgrade in comfort and safety over the area’s existing bus stops.
Elevating the architecture and design presence of public transit infrastructure has long been a priority in Minneapolis, a city that’s served as a pioneering example of how green cities develop. The Lake Street BRT Station demonstrates how strong civic and architectural design enhances the way we move through urban environments. Another infrastructure highlight on the north side of the city is the Perkins Eastman-designed Target Field Station, an AIA National design award winner that opened in 2016, providing a town square and grand central station for the North Loop Warehouse district.