Metro Transit will begin service on the Twin Cities' Green Line light rail on June 14, 2014. The new light rail between Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., is opening nearly six months earlier than required by the Federal Transit Administration, which is funding half the $957-million project, which is on budget.
“Starting service 60 years to the month after the last streetcar left the Twin Cities is fitting,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh. “For me, seeing two vibrant downtowns, numerous jobs, education and medical centers and tens of thousands of people connected by this project is the most exciting part.”
The 11-mile corridor between the two downtowns links Union Depot in St. Paul’s Lowertown to the State Capitol complex, Midway, University of Minnesota and Target Field. As the region’s second light-rail line, the Metro Green Line will connect to the Blue Line (Hiawatha) at Downtown East Station.
The mid-June opening will allow the line to serve baseball fans attending Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Target Field in July.
The project created 5,445 construction jobs and $252 million in construction payroll, with workers coming from more than 60 Minnesota counties ranging from the Canadian border to Iowa. The Green Line also created 177 permanent operations and maintenance jobs for downtown St. Paul and has spurred more than $1.7 billion in development along the line.
“This transit investment is finally on the verge of paying off for so many business owners, customers, students and others along the corridor. I can’t thank them enough for their patience and guidance during construction. I am anxious for all of them to experience the vitality and renewal that has already begun along this light-rail line and will continue far into the future,” Haigh said.