The Central Corridor light rail line linking Minneapolis and St. Paul will begin service on June 14 with free rides and day-long community celebrations, according to Metropolitan Council officials.
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The Metro Green Line, 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 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 opening is nearly six months earlier than required by the Federal Transit Administration, which is funding half the $957 million project. The project is on budget.
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 Metro 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.
“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 job, education and medical centers, and, tens of thousands of people connected by this project is the most exciting part.”