Map of the Metro system as it stood in September 2017, showing the Blue and Green lines
Map of the Metro system as it stood in September 2017, showing the Blue and Green lines

Metro is a public transportation network consisting of light rail and bus rapid transit services covering the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area. The light rail portion of the network, managed by Metro Transit, has 37 light rail stations in operation across two lines: the Blue Line, running from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, and the Green Line, connecting downtown Minneapolis with downtown Saint Paul.[1] In 2016, the Blue and Green lines respectively provided approximately 10.3 million and 12.7 million rides for a total of 23 million rides across both lines.[2] By ridership, it is the ninth-largest light rail system in the United States.[3]

Construction on the Blue Line, which was initially known as the Hiawatha Line, began in 2001.[4] The line opened in two phases in 2004, beginning with a 12-station stretch from the Warehouse District/Hennepin Avenue station through the Fort Snelling station in June. In December, five more stations were opened, continuing service south of Fort Snelling to the Mall of America station.[5] Two additional Blue Line stations opened in late 2009: a new northern terminus at Target Field and the American Boulevard station in Bloomington.[6][7] Construction on the Green Line, which was initially designated as the Central Corridor, began in 2010.[8] The line opened in its entirety in June 2014.[9]

Fares for Metro light rail service are the same as those for most Metro Transit bus services and include unlimited transfers to other light rail and bus routes within 2.5 hours from the time a fare is paid.[10] Two exceptions exist for Metro light rail services: fares within (but not between) downtown zones[nb 1] are less expensive than regular fares but may not be transferred; and there is no cost to ride between terminals 1 and 2 at the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP).[13][14] Many stations connect with rail or bus routes. The Target Field station provides a connection to the Northstar commuter rail line, while the Mall of America station allows for transfers to the Metro Red Line bus rapid transit service. The A Line bus rapid transit line connects with the 46th Street Blue Line station and the Snelling Avenue Green Line stop.[1] Two Metro light rail stations – 28th Avenue and Fort Snelling – have designated park and ride lots.[15]

Extensions to both Metro lines are planned as of September 2017. The Blue Line extension will branch northward from the Target Field station, adding 11 stations to the line: two more in Minneapolis, two in Golden Valley, one each in Robbinsdale and Crystal, and five in Brooklyn Park.[16] The Green Line extension will branch west from Target Field station and include 16 new stations: five in Minneapolis, three each in Saint Louis Park and Hopkins, one in Minnetonka, and four in Eden Prairie.[17] In 2018, Streets.mn reported that the Blue Line extension was officially projected to be open in 2023, with the Green Line extension expected to be ready for passenger service the following year.[18] However, while work on the Green Line extension was underway, an issue with securing right-of-way resulted in the need to rework the Blue Line extension's route which may delay the project's completion.[19][20]

Stations

Target Field station is the northern terminus for both the Green and Blue lines.[1]
Target Field station is the northern terminus for both the Green and Blue lines.[1]
The elevated Lake Street/Midtown station on the Blue Line
The elevated Lake Street/Midtown station on the Blue Line
The underground Terminal 1–Lindbergh station on the Blue Line
The underground Terminal 1–Lindbergh station on the Blue Line
Saint Paul Union Depot, the Green Line's southern terminus
Saint Paul Union Depot, the Green Line's southern terminus
Legend
* Downtown fare zone stations
Terminal stations
*† Terminal / downtown fare zone stations
Fare-free airport zone
Free airport zone
Lines
  Blue Line
  Green Line
Extant Metro light rail stations
Station Lines Locality Opened Ref(s).
10th Street* Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [12][21]
28th Avenue Bloomington December 4, 2004 [22][23]
38th Street Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
46th Street Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
50th Street/Minnehaha Park Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
American Boulevard Bloomington December 12, 2009 [25]
Bloomington Central Bloomington December 4, 2004 [23]
Capitol/Rice Street* Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [12][21]
Cedar-Riverside Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
Central* Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [12][21]
Dale Street Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
East Bank Minneapolis June 14, 2014 [21]
Fairview Avenue Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Fort Snelling Fort Snelling June 26, 2004 [24][26]
Franklin Avenue Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
Government Plaza* Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24][11]
Hamline Avenue Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Lake Street/Midtown Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24]
Lexington Parkway Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Mall of America Bloomington December 4, 2004 [23][27]
Nicollet Mall* Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24][11]
Prospect Park Minneapolis June 14, 2014 [21][28]
Raymond Avenue Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Robert Street* Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [12][21]
Saint Paul Union Depot*† Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [12][21]
Snelling Avenue Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Stadium Village Minneapolis June 14, 2014 [21]
Target Field*† Minneapolis November 14, 2009 [6][11]
Terminal 1–Lindbergh
Fare-free airport zone
Fort Snelling December 4, 2004 [14][23][26]
Terminal 2–Humphrey
Fare-free airport zone
Fort Snelling December 4, 2004 [14][23][26]
U.S. Bank Stadium* Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24][11]
VA Medical Center Fort Snelling June 26, 2004 [24][26]
Victoria Street Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Warehouse District/Hennepin Avenue* Minneapolis June 26, 2004 [24][11]
West Bank Minneapolis June 14, 2014 [21]
Western Avenue Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21]
Westgate Saint Paul June 14, 2014 [21][28]

Planned stations

Main articles: Southwest LRT and Bottineau LRT

The site of the planned Royalston Avenue/Farmers Market station on the extended Green Line in Minneapolis[29]
The site of the planned Royalston Avenue/Farmers Market station on the extended Green Line in Minneapolis[29]
Work underway in 2019 on the SouthWest station, part of the extended Green Line to Eden Prairie
Work underway in 2019 on the SouthWest station, part of the extended Green Line to Eden Prairie
Planned Metro light rail stations
Station[16][17] Lines Locality[16][17] Planned opening[30][31]
63rd Avenue Brooklyn Park 2024
85th Avenue Brooklyn Park 2024
93rd Avenue Brooklyn Park 2024
Bass Lake Road Crystal 2024
Bassett Creek Valley Minneapolis 2023
Beltline Boulevard Saint Louis Park 2023
Blake Road Hopkins 2023
Brooklyn Boulevard Brooklyn Park 2024
Bryn Mawr Minneapolis 2023
City West Eden Prairie 2023
Downtown Hopkins Hopkins 2023
Eden Prairie Town Center Eden Prairie 2023
Golden Triangle Eden Prairie 2023
Golden Valley Road Golden Valley 2024
Louisiana Avenue Saint Louis Park 2023
Oak Grove Parkway Brooklyn Park 2024
Opus station Minnetonka 2023
Penn Avenue Minneapolis 2024
Plymouth Avenue/Theodore Wirth Park Golden Valley 2024
Robbinsdale Robbinsdale 2024
Royalston Avenue/Farmers Market Minneapolis 2023
Shady Oak Hopkins 2023
Southwest Eden Prairie 2023
Van White Boulevard Minneapolis 2024
West 21st Street Minneapolis 2023
West Lake Street Minneapolis 2023
Wooddale Avenue Saint Louis Park 2023

Deferred/cancelled stations

Along Southwest LRT, two additional stations, both in Eden Prairie, were originally included in plans for the Green Line extension. One, Mitchell Road, was cut entirely from plans while another, Eden Prairie Town Center, was deferred until a later date. In October 2018, Eden Prairie Town Center received a full funding grant agreement and will open with the rest of the line when it is complete.[32][33] Along Bottineau LRT, four planned stations (Van White Boulevard, Penn Avenue, Plymouth Avenue/Theodore Wirth Park, and Golden Valley Road) were abandoned after BNSF Railway refused access to their Monticello Subdivision, forcing Metro Transit and the Metropolitain Council to find an alternative alignment. Three other stations (Robbinsdale, Bass Lake Road, and 63rd Avenue) also along the Monticello Subdivision are still being pursued, albeit outside the railroad corridor.[34]

Notes

  1. ^ Minneapolis's downtown zone includes stations from Target Field to U.S. Bank Stadium.[11] Saint Paul's downtown zone consists of stations from Capitol/Rice Street through Saint Paul Union Depot.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c "What is Metro?". Metro Transit. June 19, 2017. Archived from the original on June 26, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Moore, Janet (January 13, 2017). "Metro Transit sees slight dip in 2016 ridership". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Transit Ridership Report Fourth Quarter 2016" (PDF). Washington, D.C.: American Public Transportation Association. March 3, 2017. pp. 3–4. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 20, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Knudson, Paul T. (June 2009). "Coalition Formation and Metropolitan Contention: An Analysis of the Politics of Light-Rail Transit in the Twin Cities of Minnesota". City & Community. 8 (2): 177–195. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6040.2009.01279.x.
  5. ^ "Hiawatha Line Returns Rail Service to Minneapolis". Passenger Transport Archive. American Public Transportation Association. July 5, 2004. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Gibbons, Bob (November 14, 2009). "Communities celebrate arrival of Northstar Line; daily commuter rail service begins Monday" (Press release). Metro Transit. Archived from the original on March 16, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  7. ^ Smetanka, Mary Jane (December 9, 2009). "Hiawatha LRT line opens 19th station in Bloomington". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  8. ^ "Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project Facts" (PDF). Metropolitan Council. April 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 19, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Duchschere, Kevin (June 13, 2014). "St. Paul makes a bet on revival with Green Line light-rail train". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on August 7, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  10. ^ "Fares". Metro Transit. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Downtown Minneapolis (PDF) (Map). Metro Transit. March 4, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d e f Downtown St Paul (PDF) (Map). Metro Transit. March 4, 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  13. ^ "Downtown Zone is 50¢". Metro Transit. Archived from the original on October 7, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  14. ^ a b c "Taking Metro Transit to MSP airport terminals". Metro Transit. Archived from the original on October 27, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  15. ^ "Park for free then ride the smart way". Metro Transit. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c "Routes and Stations: Connecting Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Golden Valley & Minneapolis". Metropolitan Council. January 2017. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c "Routes and Stations". Metropolitan Council. January 2017. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  18. ^ Ecklund, Eric (November 30, 2018). "Twin Cities Transit Expansion Timeline". Streets.mn. Archived from the original on November 30, 2018. Retrieved November 30, 2018.
  19. ^ Ecklund, Eric (July 1, 2019). "The Blue Line Extension in Limbo". Streets.mn. Archived from the original on October 15, 2019. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
  20. ^ Wanek-Libman, Mischa (October 12, 2020). "Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz fully backs METRO Blue Line extension". Mass Transit. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Route: Connecting downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul". Metropolitan Council. Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  22. ^ Harlow, Tim (March 20, 2015). "Park-and-ride system has plenty of room as usage drops slightly in 2014". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c d e Wilkins, Craig (December 1, 2004). "Hiawatha LRT to reach final destination on Dec. 4". Newsline. Minnesota Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  24. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Minneapolis ushers in Light Rail era on June 26, cleaner transit options and improved air quality". City of Minneapolis. June 25, 2004. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  25. ^ "New light rail station opening in Bloomington". St. Paul Pioneer Press. December 12, 2009. Archived from the original on July 18, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  26. ^ a b c d Stecker, Nicole S. (2005). A GIS Analysis on the Effects of the Hiawatha Light Rail on Single-Family Residential Property Market Values (PDF) (Report). Saint Mary's University of Minnesota. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 29, 2015. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  27. ^ "Metro Blue Line Facts". Metropolitan Council. Archived from the original on July 11, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2017.
  28. ^ a b "Westgate Station". Metro Transit. Archived from the original on June 17, 2017.
  29. ^ "Royalston Avenue/Farmers Market Station". Metropolitan Council. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  30. ^ "Project Facts: About the Southwest LRT Project". Metropolitan Council. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  31. ^ "Project Facts". Metropolitan Council. Archived from the original on July 20, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  32. ^ Dexter, Patty (February 9, 2017). "Eden Prairie's Town Center LRT station recommended for federal funding". Eden Prairie News. Archived from the original on July 22, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  33. ^ Hazzard, Andrew (October 17, 2018). "Eden Prairie officially receives grant for Town Center LRT station". Southwest News Media. Archived from the original on November 1, 2019. Retrieved November 1, 2019.
  34. ^ Moore, Janet (3 August 2020). "Hennepin County, Met Council abandon route for Bottineau Blue Line light rail". Star Tribune. Retrieved 6 December 2021.