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June 20, 2014

107,000 rides taken on METRO Green Line trains during Opening Weekend

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL –  (June 20) –  People of all backgrounds, from near and far and nine months to 90 years of age boarded METRO Green Line light-rail trains more than 107,000 times during the line’s opening weekend.

Green Line trains started rolling just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 14. Ridership figures include 38 total hours: 14 hours of service on Saturday and 24 hours of service on Sunday, June 15. Concerns about high winds and heavy rain on Saturday caused organizers to wrap up outdoor station celebrations at eight stations two hours earlier than planned. Nonetheless, 61,000 (57%) of the weekend rides were taken on Saturday as riders explored the line and visited celebrations at Union Depot, Central, Western Avenue, Victoria Street, Hamline Avenue, Raymond Avenue, Stadium Village, West Bank and Target Field stations.

June 14 also represented the largest restructuring of Metro Transit bus service in a decade, involving 17 routes connecting with the new Green Line. Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority offered free rides systemwide all day Saturday and all day Sunday to acquaint customers with the new rail and bus connections and to give potential riders an opportunity to try transit service. Altogether, 392,733 rides were taken on the newly interconnected bus and rail network.

“The wet weather certainly didn’t dampen the mood during the Green Line’s opening weekend,” said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. “Metro Transit staff and our partners are very proud to have welcomed tens of thousands of familiar and new faces safely aboard our buses and trains. We were pleased to see a 12 percent increase in rides on existing Metro Transit bus and rail service over a comparable weekend.”

Well over 1,000 current and former Metro Transit and Metropolitan Council employees and partner volunteers participated during the weekend as station and bus stop ambassadors, event staff, operations support, data collectors and in other roles. In addition, more than 300 law enforcement personnel from Metro Transit Police and partner public safety agencies monitored and patrolled along the new 11-mile light-rail line.

  Sat., June 14 Sun., June 15 Total Weekend

METRO Green Line light rail

61,248

45,791

107,039

Supplemental Green Line bus service

3,391

N/A

3,391

Regular Metro Transit bus service

111,218

100,744

211,962

METRO Blue Line light rail

31,806

28,756

60,562

METRO Red Line Bus Rapid Transit

673

646

1,319

Northstar commuter rail

1,332

902

2,234

Met Council contracted bus service

2,834

1,488

4,322

Regular MVTA bus service

936

968

1,904

Total

             213,438

             179,295

             392,733

Metro Transit is a service of the Metropolitan Council. Customers boarded buses and trains operated by Metro Transit more than 81 million times in 2013.

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Contact: John Siqveland, public relations manager, john.siqveland@metrotransit.org or 612-349-7089.

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