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Rider's Almanac Blog

Adopt-A-Stoppers take on light rail stations

Posted by Drew Kerr | Tuesday, April 9, 2024 8:21:00 AM

Clockwise from top left: Owen Young, who adopted the Blue Line's 46th Street Station, members of the Hamline-Midway Coalition, Nancy Ruhland at the Green Line's 10th Street Station, Hassan Barzani, and members of the University of Minnesota marching band's baritone horn section.

More than 300 bus stops have been "adopted" by caretakers who agree to pick up litter and report any damage that needs to be addressed by facilities staff. 

But the continually expanding Adopt-A-Stop program isn't just limited to bus stops. 

The Hamline-Midway Coalition, University of Minnesota marching band's baritone horn section and some college alumni associations are among the groups that have adopted light rail stations through the program. 

So too have several individuals, including Saint Paul resident Nancy Ruhland, who adopted the METRO Green Line's 10th Street Station and recently took to Facebook to encourage other civic-minded people to join her one-woman fight against grime in Minnesota's capital city.

"I've been 'fostering' this area for a while by picking up trash either while I'm waiting for a train, or just out for a walk, grabbing a pair of disposable gloves and a plastic grocery bag as I leave my home," Ruhland wrote. "When the bag is full, I just throw everything in a trash can. Once I started doing it somewhat regularly, it was easier and easier to maintain."

As director of organizing for the Hamline-Midway Coalition, Justin Lewandowski saw adopting the Snelling Avenue Station as a way of combatting litter. "It's another thing we can do to get neighbors to not only advocate for change but participate by picking up trash," he said. About a dozen people have already signed up to help him.

Other light rail station adopters include U of M student Josh Pusch (and his bandmates) and Hassan Barzani, who picks up litter at three light rail stations.

Friendly reminder: Respect your bus stop, station, bus, or train by putting your garbage in appropriate containers. Individuals caught damaging transit property can face charges. Learn more about your role as a rider