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Medicine Lake Lines

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Is this what your talking about. Before my time living here in the Twin Cities


From the website:


Operated west of Minneapolis to Medicine Lake, Golden Valley, Plymouth, Maple Grove. Evolved into Plymouth Metrolink and Maple Grove Transit systems, operated by Metro Transit under those names. Plymouth Metrolink routes are numbered in the 740's, 770's, and 790's. And Maple Grove Transit routes are numbered in the 780's.

I found this with a google search

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What I understand from reading old MTC documents, MLL had a complex route structure in the northwest suburbs. There were no lines per se, but unique variants on each trip and would serve different segments. Eventually Plymouth and Maple Grove formed their own bus networks, and I believe contracted operations to MLL. MLL also had what b.came Route 55, serving Olson Hwy, Winnetka Ave, and Boone Ave, todays 705, 755, 756, and the Magda Dr branch of the 767. At some point in time, the 55 line became a Metropolitan Council-subsidized service, probably the early to mid 90s. MLL also contracted with the U of M for Routes 13 and 52. In 1997, the owner became ill, and sold the company to Ryder Bus Company. Ryder, in turn, was sold to Laidlaw, who was sold to First. Some of the 52 lines were taken over by Metro Transit in 1997, with the rest being taken over in 2004. The 13 was turned into the Campus Connector system in 1996, which was a vast simplification of the campus bus system. IIRC, MLL attempted to sure the University when they lost the contract for the 13 and 52 lines. The 55 line was also operated by Laidlaw (perhaps they inherited the contract), Maple Grove eventually contracted all of their routes to Metro Transit, with the exception of todays 788 line, and Plymouth still contracts with First. The 55 line was separated into the 755 and 756 in 2001, operated in house by Metro Transit in 2006 or 2007, and restructured into the current routes in 2009.

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The reason I asked was because I have scanned a number of slides I took on trips to Minneapolis between 1975 and 1996.


Probably for TcMetro: Do the Ts on the RTSs indicate a Metro takeover or the like? Would they have been affixed some time after the buses were received?

Also, the old look with the dual headlights is somewhat freaky.

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Honestly, I have no clue about these RTS buses. The RTB logo beside the front wheel indicates that these buses were purchased by the RTB (IIRC, they used to manage the contracted bus routes) or service was subsidized by the RTB.

The U of M had a fleet of RTS buses for the Route 52 operations as well.

A lot of the info I dug up about Medicine Lake Lines comes from the Minnesota Daily newspaper. They have an easily searchable archive:


I found your flickr account Mel, lots of nice pictures. Brings back a lot of memories, as well as some unknown gem. Thanks a lot for uploading these!


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  • 8 years later...

I used to ride MLL most days in the mid 80s from my home near Lancaster Lane and Rockford Rd to where I worked at The Pillsbury Center. I recall it was 90 cents each way for which you could purchase tokens in advance. There were several branches around Plymouth. The buses made stops as far as Golden Valley then fast downtown via Hwy 55.

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