Met Council, Dakota County can't agree on bus color scheme

Dakota County officials apparently aren't fans of this design -- they want their buses to be red.
Dakota County officials apparently aren't fans of this design -- they want their buses to be red.

Yellow and blue with red trim, or red and blue with yellow trim? This is the intractable issue confronting policy makers on the Met Council and in Dakota County.

You see, the Met Council wants the color scheme of the southern metro's Cedar Avenue BRT system, set to debut in November, to match the yellow-centric colors of the Hiawatha Line's LRT trains. Dakota County commissioners, on the other hand, want colors with a little more "pizzazz."

Because of this dispute, the Met Council has now pushed back a final decision on the buses' design. It's unclear how much progress has been made in negotiations on other tough issues like seat thread counts and driver uniforms.

Dakota County officials view the color-scheme spat as emblematic of a larger problem -- the Met Council not being responsive to local interests.

County commissioners say Met Council staffers generally turn a deaf ear to their suggestions, like making the buses red instead of yellow or blue. Met Council members are appointed by the governor.

In a letter to Met Council chair Susan Haigh expressing "utter frustration," commissioners write that "It is supremely aggravating to be invited to share thoughts... only to have the input completely disregarded."

Commissioners told the Star Tribune that their goal is to have the BRT vehicles "distinctive in appearance," with "more vibrant colors, including additional red." The Met Council, on the other hand, wants to feature colors emphasizing that the new BRT system is part and parcel of the region's broader mass transit system.

In response to the concerns, Haigh said the Met Council will again discuss the color scheme with Dakota County officials before making a final decision.

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