Metro Blue Line Facts

METRO Blue Line is Minnesota's first light rail line

A smooth trip to work or school. A quick hop to lunch. A family adventure starting with shopping and dinner at the Mall of America, topped by a Twins game at Target Field. 

Minnesota’s first light rail transit (LRT) line, the METRO Blue Line, connects residents and visitors to several major Twin Cities metro area destinations, including:

  • Target Field
  • Downtown Minneapolis
  • U.S. Bank Stadium
  • Bustling Lake Street
  • Minnehaha Falls Regional Park
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
  • Mall of America in Bloomington
The 12-mile METRO Blue Line also serves 11 Minneapolis neighborhoods. It is part of a growing network of transitways in the Twin Cities region that improve regional mobility and enhance economic development. The Northstar Commuter Rail opened in 2009 and the METRO Green Line opened in June 2014. All of these services connect at Target Field Station in Minneapolis. 
photo of the Blue Light light-rail in winter


People love the train 

photo of the METRO Blue LineBetween its June 2004 opening and December 2015, customers boarded the METRO Blue Line more than 110 million times. In 2015, customers boarded Blue Line trains 10.6 million timesthe highest annual ridership since the line opened for service.   

The METRO Blue Line serves a variety of sporting and other special events at U.S. Bank Stadium and Target Field. About 1 in 10 Twins fans arrives at Target Field via transit, with the majority of these fans arriving via the Blue Line, greatly reducing congestion in downtown Minneapolis during these popular events. 

Frequent service improves mobility 

  • Throughout the day, trains run about every 10 minutes, slowing to 15 minutes in the evening and less frequently later at night.
  • Blue Line has 19 stations.
  • Travel time from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America is 40 minutes.
  • Fares are $2.25 during rush hour and $1.75 at other times.
  • Riders may used timed transfers to and from buses.
  • Self-service machines on rail platforms issue tickets.
  • Riders with Go-To Cards simply swipe their card at a card reader on the platform.

Metro Transit Police conduct fare compliance checks. Officers may fine violators who ride without a ticket or pass. The fine for riding the train without paying a fare is $180.

Trains and stations are fully accessible 

photo of a rider next to a bike on the METRO Blue LineEach LRT car holds 66 seated passengers and has standing room for about 120 additional riders. Trains typically consist of three cars. Each car has luggage racks and bicycle hangers. 

Metro Transit's fleet of 86 LRT cars serves both the Blue and Green Lines. The vehicles serving the Blue Line are stored and maintained at an operations and maintenance facility on Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis. 

The light rail vehicles and stations are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Each vehicle includes level boarding at each train door; stations feature ramps and tactile edges, and stations on bridges have elevators. Public art has been incorporated into several stations to reflect the unique character of its location. 

Light rail spurs local development, helps regional economy 

A strong and growing regional economy depends on a variety of transportation modes to keep goods and people moving freely throughout the region. Transit solutions like light rail, commuter rail, and buses help slow the growth of congestion. A 2014 Metro Transit customer survey found that 78% of METRO Blue Line riders had a car available to them that they could have used for their trip. About 7 in 10 customers ride the Blue Line for work or school trips. 

Fixed transitways like light rail support development and redevelopment of attractive, convenient neighborhoods with a diversity of complementary land uses. Before construction, planners had predicted the areas surrounding METRO Blue Line would draw 7,100 new housing units by 2020. By December 2015, 8,700 new residential units had been built or permitted within one-half mile of Blue Line stations. 

Mixed-use, industrial, and commercial/office development has also emerged along the Blue Line. Recent examples include the Towneplace Suites by Marriott, Verizon Wireless, and Smith Foundry. Residential development completed recently or under construction includes Junction Flats, The Nic on Fifth, and Lake Street Station.