Green Line launches connecting two cities, and people to opportunity

June 19, 2014

On Saturday, June 14th, Green Line service began carrying passengers between Minneapolis and St. Paul, connecting two cities by rail for the first time in 50 years. The trains also carry promise and opportunity for those who live and work in the neighborhoods along the line. 

  

Despite the wind and rain, more than 45,000 riders experienced an inaugural ride on the Green Line in the first eight hours of service alone, and just as many memories (Pioneer Press). 

“This is about having a transportation system that connects things – connects people, connects the hearts of two great cities, workers with jobs, and students with classrooms, that connects families and friends whether they are on Western Avenue or Hennepin Ave,” said U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar in her opening remarks at Union Depot Station. 

  

U.S. Senator Al Franken recognized the unique effort that development of the Green Line required, including “holistic thinking about how to drop a major project like this into neighborhoods without seriously disrupting the businesses and residents.” He acknowledged the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative and all of the partners who participated in the Corridors of Opportunity initiative, which, he said, “will serve as a model to for future public works projects.”

  

Working with seven different community partners, the Funders Collaborative was front and center in making the Green Line launch a celebration of the unique and diverse communities along the line. Jonathan Sage-Martinson, Director of the Funders Collaborative, thanked the staff and volunteers from Creative Enterprise Zone, Stadium Village Association, West Bank Business Association, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Asian Economic Development Association, and Midway Chamber of Commerce, who all went above and beyond to plan the individual celebrations. And, while the gale force winds and rain were fierce at times, it didn’t dampen the spirit of pride people felt at these celebrations. 

  

Below are links to photos, blog and press highlights from the launch, and next week we’ll share a Green Line launch video capturing the spirit and emotion of the day.