What is green, 11 miles long, and links the Twin Cities residents to neighborhoods and the two downtowns? If you said the Metro Transit’s new electric light rail train, the Green Line, you would be right. Full service began on Saturday, June 14. It has been in the planning and building stages for more than 13 years and has begun operating 60 years to the month since streetcars left the Twin Cities.
The Green Line will run from the newly remodeled Union Depot in downtown St. Paul, to the Minnesota State Capitol complex, along University Avenue through the Summit-University, Thomas-Dale, Hamline-Midway neighborhoods into Prospect Park, past the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus, along the current Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis, and end at Target Field. This will feed dozens of current bus lines along the route and will greatly open up transportation routes and options to neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Thomas’ St. Paul campus.
Changes to Metro Transit bus routes near campus
Three major bus lines that border the St. Paul campus will connect with stops on the Green Line. Bus 87, which runs along the east side of campus on Cleveland Avenue, will increase service to seven days a week from Highland Park to Rosedale Center. The bus will run along University Avenue from Prior Avenue to Raymond Avenue, with a stop at the Green Line station on Raymond. Also, the 21 bus eastbound that runs on Marshall Avenue near the north end of campus will connect to the Green Line at University and Snelling Avenue; and to the west it will connect with the Blue Line at Lake Street.
The biggest changes have taken place on the 63 bus route. For generations, this route followed the old Grand Avenue street car line from downtown St. Paul to the University of St. Thomas at Cretin and Grand Avenues. During this time, the bus ended at Summit for a rest period before heading downtown. This now has changed. With the Green Line, the 63 bus will turn north on Cretin Avenue and continue to University, then turn west ending near the Raymond Avenue Green Line stop. On its return, the bus will leave Raymond Avenue and go east on University to Vandalia/Cretin, then turn east on Grand Avenue to downtown.
In addition to these changes, there are new bus stops for the 63 bus route. The Grand Avenue bus going to the Green Line (or north on Cretin) can be picked up on Grand at Cleveland, Finn and Cretin Avenues, as well as on Cretin at Mississippi River Boulevard and Selby. There is a new stop that is added at Cretin just north of Summit and west of Anderson Student Center. Later this summer there will be a bus shelter added at this location. Going toward downtown St. Paul, travelers may catch the bus on Cretin at Selby, Mississippi River Boulevard and Cretin, as well as on Grand at Finn and Cleveland. Another new stop has been added toward downtown at Cretin southbound just north of Summit. The Grand Avenue bus will no longer stop at Summit Avenue westbound in front of the Anderson Student Center.
New UST shuttle location
Metro Transit and the St. Paul Traffic Engineering Department have given permission to allow the UST inter-campus shuttle to share the Metro Transit bus stop on Summit Avenue near the Anderson Student Center. This change will increase traffic safety with increased visibility for vehicles and pedestrians crossing at the arches and eliminate regular blockage of the Cleveland and Summit intersections. There is no change in the shuttle bus schedule. Signs are posted directing guests to the new shuttle stop. The ACTC bus stop location will be announced closer to the start of the school year.
For traffic safety, charter buses and other buses coming to campus must continue to use the designated bus drop-off and pick-up locations. As a reminder during the construction on south campus, the current location is the Flynn Hall turnaround until south campus locations reopen in August.
Visit Metro Transit for further information on the Green Line, 63 Grand, 21 Selby, and 87 Rosedale Cleveland U of M routes, as well as the entire transit system that operates throughout the Twin Cities.