Minneapolis/St. Paul-based Metro Transit opened its second light rail line, the METRO Green Line, formerly called the Central Corridor, on Saturday. The line, which was delivered by the Metropolitan Council on time and on budget, is the largest completed public works project in Minnesota history at a total cost of $957 million.
The construction of the METRO Green Line employed 5,500 people and created 200 permanent new operations jobs. Construction spurred more than $2.5 billion in development along the line.
“With more than 3.2 million residents in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area and thousands more expected in the coming decades, expanding transportation choices is critical to the region’s success," said U.S. Department of Transportation Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Peter Rogoff. "Projects like the new Green Line will make a huge difference for hardworking families, students and seniors who deserve reliable transportation options to get to work, school and other opportunities.”
The Green Line is an 11-mile light-rail line connecting downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul. The METRO Green Line includes 18 new light rail stations. The Green Line will also serve five downtown Minneapolis stations that are shared with the METRO Blue Line, which travels south from Minneapolis to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington.
Metro Transit is also in preliminary engineering on its Green Line Extension, which includes an additional 16 miles of double track as well as 16 new stations. It will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line and Metro Transit bus routes.