Beginning this weekend, the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit line will add new service from Downtown to five Bloomington-area stations including the Mall of America and the airport.
As with LRT's June debut, train and bus riders can travel for free Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5. The new LRT service will kick off with a civic ceremony at Bloomington Central Station Saturday at 10 a.m. Regular LRT service to the new stations begins at 11:15 a.m., with trains departing about every 10 minutes during the weekend. On Saturday, there will be entertainment and family fun at the Bloomington Central Station, Lindbergh (Main) Terminal Station, Mall of America Station and Downtown's existing Warehouse District station.
The four-mile extension also includes the airport's Humphrey (Charter) Terminal Station and the 28th Avenue Station just south of I-494.
A 600-space park-and-ride lot will open at 82nd Street & 28th Avenue South in Bloomington. Service to the new stations will replace the current route 155 shuttle bus.
The ride from the Warehouse District station to the Lindbergh terminal will take 25 minutes, and 36 minutes to the Mall of America station, according to Metro Transit schedules.
When riders resume paying on Monday, Dec. 6 at 4 a.m., fares will be $1.75 Monday-Friday 6-9 a.m. and 3-6:30 p.m., and $1.25 all other times. Those over 65 and 6-12, or with Medicare cards pay 50 cents instead of the $1.25 fare. People with disabilities pay 50 cents at all times. Kids under 6 ride free at all times.
Single rides between the four Downtown LRT stations (Warehouse District, Nicollet Mall, Government Center and Metrodome) remain 50 cents for all passengers.
Travel will be free between the two airport stations.
Payment remains on the honor system -- though transit police randomly check for fare evaders (about 20-25 percent of customers are checked). Metro Transit says of the 183,000 passengers screened, 490 received warnings and 317 received $180 citations.