Gearing up for the Green Line

Share this:
June 3, 2014 // UPDATED 9:06 am - June 4, 2014
By: Sarah McKenzie
Photo courtesy Metro Transit
Sarah McKenzie

Minneapolis will once again be linked by rail with its sibling St. Paul when the Green Line makes its debut June 14.

The expectations are high for the region’s second light-rail transit line — an 11-mile corridor spanning from Target Field Station in the North Loop neighborhood to Union Depot in St. Paul. It shares five stations in downtown Minneapolis with the Metro Blue Line (Hiawatha), has three stops at the University of Minnesota campus and then runs along University Avenue to the state Capitol before heading into downtown St. Paul. It has 18 stations in total.

It’s been more than six decades since the cities were connected by rail. Streetcars ran along University Avenue from 1890 to 1953.

It’s expected to take about 50 minutes to travel from Target Field Station to Union Depot, according to a Metro Transit schedule.

Roughly $2.5 billion in new construction and redevelopment projects have been planned along the line since initial work started on the Green Line five years ago, according to the Metropolitan Council.

“The development we’ve seen so far only marks the beginning of new opportunities in the Central Corridor,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh. “For decades to come, the Green Line will be a catalyst for employment and economic growth along its 11-mile route.”

The Green Line opens 10 years after the Hiawatha LRT line launched service between the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis.

At a glance

—   Hours of operation: 24 hours a day/seven days a week.

—   Schedule: Trains will run every 10 minutes during the day, every 10-15 minutes in the evenings and once an hour in the early morning. For details go to www.metrotransit.org/greenline.

—   Fares: Same as Blue, Red Lines and local bus routes — adults, $1.75 off-peak hours/$2.25 rush hour; seniors 65 and older, youth 6–12 and Medicare cardholders, 75 cents (www.metrotransit.org/fares)

—   Total project cost: $957 million (combination of federal, state and local funding sources)

—   Length: 11 miles with 18 stations

—   Occupancy per vehicle: 200 (68 standing/132 seated)

—   Notable bus route changes: Route 50 will be replaced with the new rail service; Route 16 will have fewer trips between downtown St. Paul and the U of M; Route 94 will end weekday evening and weekend trips. 

Opening day festivities

—   Target Field Station: The celebration will feature food samples from Warehouse District and North Loop restaurants from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. A full day of live music, family activities and an appearance by TC Bear are planned.

—   Union Depot Station: The 9 a.m. official ribbon cutting will be followed by live music from The Current, Union Depot tours and much more. Festivities will run until 6 p.m.

—   Community parties are also planned at the Central, Western, Victoria, Hamline, Raymond, Stadium Village and West Bank stations.