From July 9 through August 19, people who take the METRO Blue and Green lines will notice something different than they’re used to – light rail vehicles traveling in sets of two, rather than three.
The temporary switch is being made to see if reducing the number of vehicles in service improves the customer experience. Using fewer vehicles will require less cleaning and make it easier for police officers and Community Service Officers to interact with riders.
Testing smaller vehicle sets is among the actions included in the Safety & Security Action Plan and represents a willingness to try new approaches to improve public safety on transit.
“Three-car vehicle sets have been our standard since the Green Line opened, but times have changed and we need to be open to all new ideas,” Chief Operating Officer Brian Funk said.
Adjustments may be made during the test based on customer feedback. Special considerations may also be made at times when higher ridership is expected.
After the test concludes, customer and train operator feedback and other evaluation measures, like on-time performance, will be used to determine next steps.
Light rail vehicles can hold up to 132 people, seated and standing. In May, the Green Line was seeing an average of around 19,500 average weekday rides and the Blue Line was seeing around 15,600 average weekday rides. Light rail ridership has been growing but remains at about half its pre-pandemic levels.
Customers are invited to provide feedback on the use of two-car smaller vehicle sets and other items in the Safety & Security Action Plan by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 612-373-3333.
To discretely report suspicious behavior, text 612-900-0411 and be prepared to provide the light rail vehicle number, posted at the end of each train car.
Emergency call buttons are located on all light rail vehicles and station platforms.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention recommends that masks be worn in indoor public transportation settings.