Newest way to get around Sartell, ConneX bus service


Ben Kiewel

The old route 32 Metro Bus sign near the high school. It now features a sign showing the ConneX service area.

As I stepped into the bus, my stomach filled with butterflies. I didn’t really know what to expect, this being my first time using a public bus in Sartell. Suddenly all the anxiety disappeared as Pete welcomed me into the empty bus with a friendly voice. I put my money into the machine and told him my destination. We talked through the whole bus ride to Coborns and my nerves eased as I learned more about the new bus service.

ConneX is a new bus service offered by Metro Bus as a replacement and improvement on Route 32. The service is very similar to Uber or Lyft ridesharing. Simply call the Metro Bus phone number, 320-251-7433, and select the ConneX service in the call menu. After setting up a clientele profile with the representative tell them your current location and destination. Your wait will depend on a few factors, like your spot in the queue or how far away the bus is when you called. Plan to wait for around 10-15 minutes. For more on how to use ConneX, visit the Metro Bus website here or watch the in-depth video guide.


Ben Kiewel
The ConneX bus rolling up to pick me up from the high school.

My first experience with ConneX was very pleasant. The way the bus driver started small talk right away was very welcoming and the wait was as expected for the on-demand bus service. There was no one else on the bus on my way to Coborns so it was just me and Pete talking about ConneX. Eventually, we also talked about his kids, my college plans, and of course the LeSabre. After grabbing a quick bite from Coborns I called Metro Bus for a ride back. This wait was significantly longer than the first one.


One way you could avoid a long wait is calling before you are done with whatever you are doing. For example, when you think you have about 10-15 minutes left of grocery shopping, call them for a pickup. The second wait wasn’t horrible especially when I got on the bus and Pete explained the wait to me. He told me about his route to Coborns and his multiple destinations like Walmart and STā Fit. Right now only one ConneX bus is servicing all of Sartell right now, which makes the wait longer. Also, this time I wasn’t alone on the bus, I joined a mother and her baby on my ride. She was ahead of me in the queue so Pete had picked her up first and then went to Coborns. The next stop on the route was her destination because she got in the bus first. 


Ben Kiewel
Inside of the ConneX bus with a view of the charismatic driver Pete.

Soon enough I was back at the high school, saying good-bye to Pete and thanking him for all the help on my article.