The main market for the park and ride service is downtown commuters. They would leave in droves if they were forced to take a 25 min bus ride, 5 min transfer, and 35 min rail ride to the city. It looks to me that existing express bus service levels will be preserved. Current service on the 442 (basically the same as the Red Line) is every half-hour during peak times and will be doubled to every 15 minutes. At opening date, I would imagine that the express buses will continue to be crowded, and Red Line buses will be half-full or so.
The Red Line will essentially be a replacement for the 442 bus. The only change is the elimination of the Palomino Hills stop, which is a bad move in my mind. We shall see if ridership improves along the line with 15 minute frequencies. I don't use the 442 often, but from my observations the peak ridership is decent, while off-peak ridership hovers around 10 people per trip. The Apple Valley-Burnsville segment is usually dead, rarely have I seen more than 4 people on the bus to Burnsville. The success of the Red Line is going to be improved feeder service, because so few people live within walking distance of any of the stations. The only stop with a trailer park and a number of apartment complexes, Palomino Hills, is being eliminated.
A number of changes to the local network are neccesary to ensure the success of Red Line service. I would cut 437, 440 and 445 back to Cedar Grove, combine the 442-Burnsville, 465A, and 426 routes into one new route, and consolidation of 438 and 440 into one route and improve service. Perhaps an entirely new network of routes should be drawn up with no concern of existing route segments.