LRT gets longer: airport, mall stations open Dec. 4

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October 4, 2004 // UPDATED 4:15 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie

The Hiawatha light-rail transit (LRT) line will begin full service from Downtown to the Mall of America on Dec. 4, Metropolitan Council officials announced earlier this month.

When service starts, the $715.3 million line will span 12 miles between the Warehouse District and Bloomington. Riders will be able to access the LRT from 17 stations, including four Downtown on South 5th Street that have been operational since June 26. The line currently ends at Ft. Snelling.

The trains will also pick up riders at a 600-car park-and-ride lot near the 28th Avenue Station in Bloomington.

Metro Transit is obligated to open the line by Dec. 31 to comply with a $334 million funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration.

Festivities are planned for Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, a Saturday and Sunday, to mark the start of full service. Metro Transit is considering offering free bus and train rides that weekend, similar to the free rides offered in June when service started.