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Metro Transit is the largest operator of bus service in the seven-county region.

The service has includes:

*875 buses, including 140 articulated buses

*130 routes,

*Hiawatha Line light rail corridor.

The transit system is reportedly the 18th largest in the country, with roughly 200,000 rides provided each weekday.


SouthWest Metro Transit Commission (SMTC) has a fleet of more than 50 buses and offers service to Downtown and Uptown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, along I-494 to Normandale Lakes Office Park and Normandale Community College, as well as local service in Chanhassen, Chaska, and Eden Prairie.


The Minnesota Valley Transit Authority (MVTA) operates in five suburbs south of Minneapolis and St. Paul: Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, and Rosemount in Dakota County, and Savage in Scott County.

Hiawatha Light Rail Transit



The Hiawatha Line is a 12 mile corridor connecting downtown Minneapolis to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. Groundbreaking for the line took place on January 17, 2001. Regular service began on a first phase of the line on June 26, 2004, with the second phase opening later that year on December 4

Edited by NorthStar
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Metro Transit has released 1st-year figures for the Hiawatha Line and they have beat predicted ridership numbers by 61 percent!!!

Here are some other figures:

*6 million estimated through June

*Average ridership from January through May:

-Weekdays 19,700

-Saturdays 17,600

-Sundays 10,400

*Metrodome events: Nearly 1 million riders took trains to Twins, Vikings and Gophers games and other special events downtown.

*Fare evaders

-Ticketed: 2,460.

-Warned: 4,672.

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  • 1 month later...

According to the Associated Press, Minnesota will get $3.5 billion in federal transportation money. The state will receive more than $400 million for statewide transit projects over the next five years. The bill includes:

*$80 million for the Northstar Commuter Rail project, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Cloud.

*$50 million for converting the St. Paul Union Depot into a new transportation hub.

*25 million specifically for bike and pedestrian trails in the Twin Cities. one of only four areas of the country to get this special funding.

The article lists other major projects funded in the transportation bill. Projects include:

-$50 million for lane construction on Highway 53 between Virginia and International Falls.

-More than $20 million to improve safety on Highway 169 from Virginia to Ely/Winton;

-$17 million for Phase III construction of Highway 610/10;

-$13 million for the St. Croix River Crossing;

-$13 million for the Lyndale Avenue Bridge in the Twin Cities;

-$9.8 million for construction of a bus rapid lane on Cedar Avenue Highway in Dakota County;

-$9.66 million in Lake County: for reconstruction of Highway 61 from Split Rock River to Silver Bay in Lake County and construction of a Gitchi-Gami Spur Trail between main trail and Silver Bay Marina along Highway 61;

-$9.5 million to purchase buses and bus facilities for the Metro Transit bus service;

-$8.8 million for construction of Eighth Street north of St. Cloud;

-$7.2 million for construction of an interchange at Highway 65 and Highway 242 in Blaine;

-$7.1 million for construction of the Highway 23 bypass of Paynesville

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Was at the Red Sox & Twins games this past week-end. I was impressed with your light rail system. South Florida has a terrible transit system so I am jealous. Leaving the game last Saturday night the service was extremely slow with people waiting for the train to arrive. You would think that there would be some preparation to handle the volume of people. I guess I'm spoiled from living in Boston for a few years. All in all I liked what I experienced and Im sure it will get better. If Providence RI had a light rail like yours I would move back tomorrow.

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Opponents of the LRT worked hard to derail the project --as a result the size of the trains and platforms were reduced to save money. However, ridership of the Minneapolis LRT has way exceeded expectations, which also explains your wait. I take it in the middle of the day and on weekends and it is always crowded.

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Quick tip for leaving the Dome after a game;  walk to the next platform towards downtown and get on the train before it gets to the Metrodome.  For some reason no one else seems to think of this so it works out pretty well.


I agree. I used to take the orange line one stop in the other direction at rush hour and then come back with a seat. My friends were reluctant to take my advice. The traffic around the H Dome impeded the movement of the trains. I enjoyed my visit but acorns were falling which means WINTER is coming. I saw that there were heaters at the train stops. YIKES

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Wow, dude. It was 94 degrees today. Winter isn't that frickin close. It'll be 50's and 60's well into November and December.

People are so ignorant about Minnesota winters, it's not even funny.


50s and 60s into Nov and Dec? Am I living in a different Minneapolis? Those temps can happen, but its the exception. More like 20s and 30s, with dips down to zero, or worse. Granted, the Twin Cities is alot better than Northern Minnesota (where I grew up) when summer really does end on Labor Day.

And total agreement on moving up a few stations to get a seat. I was stupid enough to ride LRT on its opening day. I got on at the Nicollet Station. I still had to stand because the whole thing filled up at the first stop! By the time we got to the Dome, people trying to get on were basically saying "Screw this!" and gave up.

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Ugh... I live in northern Minnesota and some of hte leaves are already beginning to change color (mostly due to dry weather, but still!)

By November temperatures can dip to -10 and by December all the way to -25 or so. I don't think I've ever seen 60 degrees past early November. Of course we're quite a bit colder here than down there.. but I don't mind it. I love winter.

Anyway, I'm happy to hear about the proposals to expand the Twin Cities' transit systems. Now if only we could have a state wide high speed train system like those of Europe. But one can only dream, I guess.

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I will vouch for the warmer winters in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. And summers also get hot in that area as well. In fact, there were snow storms east of Chicago last December, while Minneapolis/St. Paul didn't have any snow on the ground. The coldest months are December, January, February, and March. It starts warming up in April, gets hot by the end of May, then starts cooling off in the middle of September. November is when it starts getting cold, with below freezing temperatures towards the end of the month.

Minneapolis/St. Paul is well adapted to the colder climate, and other parts of the country envy that place during the "dog days" of Summer. In fact, I have heard of people who moved up there from Phoenix because of the heat close to the Mexican border.

For those who think of Minnesota as being "out in timbuktu": Try driving between Chicago, and Ann Arbor down I-94 in the middle of December in a snow storm. Exits are at least 15 miles apart, and you might have to drive a good 50 miles before the next gas station. Be sure to fill up before you leave Michigan City, Indiana!


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Yes, I must say: Twin Citians do a lot of bragging about the cold weather.. and it's actually quite mild. :) And sticky and unbearable in the summer.

The average low in Minneapolis in January is around 0*F, while it gets as low as -15*F in northern Minnesota.

Temperatures on the north shore of Lake Superior can be stuck in the 40s while Minneapolis soars into the 90s in early summer... like an extreme form of the marine layer.

As far as being on lonely interstate: I recently drove cross country from San Diego to Minnesota and there were some empty stretches.

I-70 in Utah is the loneliest place I've ever seen. There are signs that say "Next services, 120 miles" And the last service station before this stretch is a broken down old gas station that closes at 5pm. Besides 2 semis, we didn't see a car for over an hour.

Now imagine driving in a blizzard in that area.

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  • 4 months later...

I have no idea. I was just at the airport on Thursday and I picked mine up from carousel 9, and it was by no means anywhere near the end. MSP's carousels are smaller though than other airports I've been to, even smaller airports. They're round rather than oblong... no idea why (maybe easier access for smaller flights?)

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I have no idea. I was just at the airport on Thursday and I picked mine up from carousel 9, and it was by no means anywhere near the end. MSP's carousels are smaller though than other airports I've been to, even smaller airports. They're round rather than oblong... no idea why (maybe easier access for smaller flights?)

Oh ok...there must be 14 then. I was confused because on the airport's website, it shows numbers 1-14, but it only actually shows 4 carousels. Thanks for clearing that up. :thumbsup:

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I read about plans for expanding the light rail into downtown St Paul and reopening the Union Depot as a train station! There was also talk about Amtrak relocating its station there and having it be a "transit hub" for the Twin Cities.

I absolutely love living in the Northern Suburbs, except for the fact that when it comes to any sort of rail transit to the downtowns, we'll be the last for sure. I guess it really won't matter to me though, as I plan on moving to DT St Paul this summer.

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A friend and I were recently in the Cities and we were checking out Ikea. They had one in Salzburg, Austria that I went to and I loved it, so I had to show my friend all the cheap chic (watch out Target!).. anyway, we decided to take the train down town and do some shopping on the Nicollet mall. It was nice to do some shopping at Marshall Field's and just walk around outside despite temperatures being around 20*F. We got hot chai teas at Caribou and just explored downtown.. it was kind of invigorating.

But yes, even on a Saturday afternoon, the trains were full. Nobody was standing but all the seats were taken.

We went back to MOA and did some more shopping before heading down to visit my friend's inlaws... (her husband is in Iraq right now, so I thought I'd spare her the alone time with the inlaws..plus it gave me an excuse to get away for a weekend).

Note on the prices: I can't believe how cheap it was to take the train! $1.75 for two hours.. that's so cheap and it's such a good idea to have time tickets rather than do it by stop.

When I was in Europe it was €2,10 for a "kurzstreck" or a short trip of 3 stops or less on the street cars in Cologne and 1,80 for a one way bus fare in Salzburg. Oh well.. They tax the hell out of transportation but a good bottle of wine was about $5.00 and good beer was $.79/liter

Edited by Snowguy716
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1 33 24 29 22 5 14 +15 0.00 0.0 5 36

2 34 32 33 22 5 14 +19 0.16 0.0 4 32

3 36 32 34 22 5 13 +21 0.01 0.0 4 31

4 33 29 31 22 5 13 +18 0.05 trace 2 34

5 29 27 28 22 4 13 +15 trace trace 0 37

6 31 21 26 22 4 13 +13 trace trace 0 39

7 36 26 31 21 4 13 +18 0.00 0.0 1 34

8 34 30 32 21 4 13 +19 0.03 0.5 1 33

9 31 18 25 21 4 13 +12 0.00 0.0 1 40

10 32 16 24 21 4 12 +12 0.00 0.0 1 41

11 37 23 30 21 4 12 +18 0.00 0.0 1 35

12 44 27 36 21 3 12 +24 trace 0.0 0 29

13 32 20 26 21 3 12 +14 trace trace 1 39

14 33 19 26 21 3 12 +14 0.00 0.0 1 39

15 39 30 35 21 3 12 +23 0.00 0.0 1 30

16 33 23 28 21 3 12 +16 0.08 0.7 1 37

17 23 14 19 21 4 12 +7 trace trace 1 46

18 26 14 20 22 4 13 +7 trace trace 1 45

19 28 23 26 22 4 13 +13 0.01 0.1 1 39

20 32 23 28 22 4 13 +15 0.00 0.0 1 37

21 31 17 24 22 4 13 +11 0.00 0.0 1 41

22 31 9 20 22 4 13 +7 0.00 0.0 1 45

23 38 5 22 22 4 13 +9 0.01 0.1 1 43

24 39 27 33 22 4 13 +20 0.01 trace 1 32

25 32 19 26 22 5 14 +12 0.00 0.0 0 39

26 48 21 35 23 5 14 +21 0.02 0.0 0 30

27 46 31 39 23 5 14 +25 0.00 0.0 0 26

28 40 28 34 23 5 14 +20 0.11 trace 0 31

I was walking around on January 21st. That day the temperature was 31*F with a low of 17*F that morning. That day around early afternoon a front moved through pushing temperatures downward, thus the low of 9*F on Sunday, January 22nd. This is the reporting station for Minneapolis, MN.

I get annoyed by people of Minneapoils trying to make their weather sound warmer than it actually is.

This January will break the record for warmest ever January in Minneapolis, and still it was colder than "30*F".

Do you want to see December's records... it got below 0*F in Minneapolis, several times.

Edited by Snowguy716
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I love the idea of having trains connecting the airport, MOA (even though I don't like MOA itself), Minneapolis and eventually Saint Paul.

Yet my favorite piece of transportation in the Twin Cities is certainly the now overlooked but oft-used skyway system. I used to work in office inside Galtier Plaza in Saint Paul, and it was bliss not having to bear harsh winds and inclement weather to run across town. Not to mention, it makes the city feel more interconnected with people walking through the buildings. On a nice day in the summer I tested skyway vs. no skyway, by walking to Marshall Field's Marketplace for lunch. It took nearly double the time to walk on the sidewalks and dodge traffic to get to Field's. The skyway was a quick trip back. Though it was a summer day, so it was nice to get outside. But the convenience factor of the skyways can't be denied.

Plus, where else can you have such interesting events like the mountain bike race which will be taking place in the skyways of Saint Paul this weekend?

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