FAQs for regular riders: Metro Transit service during Super Bowl LII
What is the best way to stay updated on detours during the Super Bowl?
The best way to stay up to date is by signing up for route-specific Rider Alerts at metrotransit.org/alerts. Metro Transit’s website will also be updated on a daily basis to reflect the most current detour information here: metrotransit.org/super-bowl-detours. Significant detours will be shared on Metro Transit’s social media accounts. And, you can call in to speak with one of our Transit Information experts at 612-373-3333, option 2.
What if my route is experiencing delays or higher-than-average ridership because of all the visitors in town?
Metro Transit will have buses on standby to be used in the event of major delays or higher-than-expected ridership on local routes serving downtown Minneapolis and our light rail lines. And there will be more frequent light rail service later into the evenings.
Why is the Blue Line and a portion of the Green Line limited only to fans on gameday?
Because security becomes tighter on gameday, we needed to make additional service adjustments on gameday weekend. A hardened security perimeter will be established on the evening of Friday, Feb. 2. At that point, light rail trains will pass through but no longer serve U.S. Bank Stadium Station; customer boarding and exiting will instead occur at Government Plaza Station.
On gameday, light rail access will be limited only to pre-screened and ticketed fans on the entire length of the Blue Line and on the Green Line between Stadium Village Station and downtown Minneapolis. All boardings will occur at the Mall of America and Stadium Village stations. Trains will not board or alight customers anywhere except for these stations and U.S. Bank Stadium.
Had light rail access remained open to all, we would expect Super Bowl attendees to take light rail anyway, creating an unsafe and potentially unmanageable situation that negatively impacted both customers and fans. These trains would also not be allowed to enter downtown Minneapolis, requiring everyone on the train to transfer to a bus during their trip. These challenges would be magnified post-game, when we expect to see more people departing at the same time and in an extremely compact environment.
What is being done to serve customers who can’t take light rail on gameday?
Free replacement buses will operate along the entire length of the Blue Line and along the Green Line between Stadium Village and downtown Minneapolis on gameday, Sunday Feb. 4. Replacement buses will operate at least every 10 minutes, picking up and dropping off customers at designated, ADA-compliant locations. We will have more than 50 light rail replacement buses in service, along with another 20 buses on standby to provide support as-needed.
Green Line customers who transfer from light rail to a bus will be provided a free ride coupon to use at a later date.
Downtown, buses will not be allowed near the stadium, and will instead operate on Washington Avenue South.
Replacement buses will continue to operate throughout the evening on Feb. 4, but light rail service will return to normal once crowds have cleared out of downtown after the game.
Why will Super Bowl gameday attendees use light rail trains rather than bus service?
Up to 20,000 fans can be transported on 40 light rail vehicles. On the Blue Line, we can send eight fully-loaded three-car sets with up to 500 people per hour, clearing the station in around three hours. It would take 272 articulated buses, at capacity, to carry the same volume of people. Clearing the Blue Line within three hours would require us to safely fill and send more than a bus per minutes. We don’t have enough articulated buses to accomplish this, nor is there anywhere around the stadium to stage the number of buses that would be needed.
Using buses on the Blue Line would require the creation of a secure boarding area outside of the Mall of America, which would require safe pedestrian crossings and closing primary access roads to the mall.
How is Super Bowl Service being paid for?
Additional advertising revenues generated by the Super Bowl, special event fares and grants will be used to cover all event-related expenses. In total, Super Bowl-related revenues and expenses are each projected to roughly equal about $2 million.
What security precautions are being taken to keep customers and fans safe?
The Super Bowl is treated as a top tier national security event. Metro Transit’s service plans reflect and respond to security needs, and were developed in close coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, NFL Security and the Minneapolis Police Department, which is the lead agency for all event-related security efforts.
Transit Police, bus and light rail operators and others who will be working during Super Bowl events have been specially-trained to recognize and report signs of terrorism and trafficking. Customers are also encouraged to report suspicious behavior by contacting Transit Police by calling 612-349-7222 or texting 612-900-0411 in the event that you cannot make a call. In an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
While Transit Police will be involved in security efforts before, during and after gameday, the department’s full roster of part- and full-time officers will be utilized to ensure all the system’s other security needs are met.
Will these service plans change?
Our service plans are and will remain in a certain amount of flux up to and even including gameday. Some of that uncertainty stems from unknowns like world events and the weather; we’re also dependent to a degree on decisions made by partnering agencies.
The best way to stay informed is to subscribe to Rider Alerts for your route(s) at metrotransit.org/alerts, follow Metro Transit’s social media channels or call us at 612-373-3333.