a.m., folks begin arriving at the other end of the line, including 2-year-old
Leo Galt-McAvey. Wearing a conductor's hat and carrying a toy train car, Leo
arrived at the Target Field light-rail station with wide eyes.
thinks it's going to be a green train," said his mom, Alex Galt. They live
near Lake Street in Minneapolis and look forward to taking train rides to the
Children's Museum in downtown St. Paul.
“This is about re-Twinning the Twin Cities,” said Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, a longtime mass transit advocate. “We are trying to create a transportation system that is going to keep us economically competitive in this century. Connecting these cities is critically important to that.”
Minneapolis City Council member Jacob Frey, one of several speakers at the Target Field
Station, said: "There will be a person in St. Paul who wants to have fun, for a change" and will ride the Green Line to Minneapolis, and use the train for a sober ride home.
To which Twins president Dave St. Peter said: "There are a few good bars in St. Paul, Jacob, and I've found em all."
First ride ready for takeoff at #raymondstation #greenline
Curt Brown is at the western end of the line, Target Field and reports:
The first eastbound Green Line train out of Target Field Station was about 10 minutes late.
"I'm unimpressed so far," said Phillip Jones, 51, of St. Paul, who was off to visit his grown kids in St. Paul. "Hope this isn't the norm. With all the fanfare, you'd think they'd make sure the first train was on time."
The first #greenline train coming into downtown #Mpls!
Kevin Duchschere caught the opening ceremonies at the Union Depot, where effusive politicians couldn't contain themselves enough to let the train go. They were still talking at 10 when the official start was to begin. Here's his report:
The first Green Line train left Union Depot a few minutes behind schedule Saturday morning, but blame the politicians rather than the operators.The Metro area's second light-rail line, this one linking the Twin Cities, was launched following a program where federal, state and local officials lauded the planning, work and funders necessary to build the $957 million line. Half the funding came from the federal government, with the balance divided among the state and local governments.
Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough told a crowd of several hundred under
the high barrel ceiling of the Union Depot's waiting room. "You helped shape it with your hopes and dreams."
Franken, Reps, Betty McCollum and Keith Ellison, and Mayors Chris Coleman and
"It's a watershed moment," he said. "It only goes forward from here. It's only the future from here. This is a new chapter."Then he stepped on board, and the train took off at 10:11.
Jim Anderson is in the Midway area and caught this scene:
The mood was a bit more sour at Avon Street and
University Avenue, where about a dozen foes of the Green Line and other transit
expansion efforts held signs expressing that opposition.
"Nobody's going to ride it," said Sharon Davis
of Brooklym Park, who was joined by her husband, Denis. The money spent
on Green Line and other projects would be better spent on fixing roads.
"What does this do for me?" She said. "I
need my car."