Southwest Light Rail Transit

METRO Green Line Extension – Eden Prairie to Downtown Minneapolis

Construction Hotline: 612-373-3933

The METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT or SWLRT) will serve downtown Minneapolis and the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. The line will include 16 new stations and will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, and many bus routes. At Target Field Station in Minneapolis, Green Line Extension trains will continue along the METRO Green Line, providing one-seat rides to the University of Minnesota, State Capitol area, and downtown Saint Paul. Read more about the project.

Southwest LRT construction is more than 50 percent complete


It has been an amazing construction season for the Southwest LRT project! From the first tracks being laid to the announcement that we are 50% through construction, 2021 has been a momentous year.

The Southwest LRT project, connecting the two downtowns with the southwest communities, will play an essential role in helping meet employment demand as the workplace evolves in the aftermath of COVID-19. This is in addition to the significant economic development along the new route — and we anticipate more development to come.

It's not just the metro are that is benefiting from the state's largest infrastructure project ever. During construction, 65 out of 87 Minnesota counties have someone bringing home a paycheck from this project, and the employment benefits don't stop there.

When complete, the line will provide access to 80,900 forecasted jobs and provide transportation options for 55,800 forecasted residents within a half mile of the stations, in addition to the 145,300 forecasted jobs and 35,600 forecasted residents in downtown Minneapolis.

Southwest LRT is truly a generational investment into our cities, the region, and the state, and we look forward to you joining us as we continue to move forward on this vital project.

Southwest Light Rail Reaches Major Milestone: First LRT Tracks in Hopkins

August 13, 2021: The Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County are proud to announce the first LRT rail tracks have officially been placed for the METRO Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT). The rail was installed in Hopkins, near the future Downtown Hopkins Station, on August 11, 2021. This marks another major milestone for the Southwest LRT project and brings the project one step closer to connecting the communities of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Minneapolis to new opportunities.

“Moments like these affirm my belief in transit and the communities it serves,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Charlie Zelle. “Southwest LRT will positively change lives by providing easier access to housing, education, and healthcare. “These first several feet of LRT track represent something bigger than just a light rail line,” he continued. “They represent our communities, our region, and our state coming together and committing to improve the lives of neighbors and ourselves. I am immensely proud of this project and the people who have made it happen.”

“This first set of light rail tracks points towards our shared vision for the future and our commitment to supporting equitable growth,” said Marion Greene Chair of the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners. “As we confront the climate crisis and work to reduce racial disparities, this project is putting our region quite literally on track for long-term success. It will reduce our reliance on cars, offer accessible multimodal transportation choices, and drive inclusive development and investment that will benefit all residents. Today, we’re closer than ever to realizing the lasting benefits of Southwest Light Rail, and I’m excited by the progress being made,” Greene said.

Southwest LRT construction is over 50% complete, with 11 of the 16 stations under construction or nearly complete.  Despite being under construction, Southwest LRT has already seen over a billion and half dollars of investment within a half-mile of the line.

“As the former Mayor of Hopkins and now Metropolitan Council Member, I feel immense pride that the city I call home was where the first rail of Southwest LRT was laid,” said Metropolitan Council Member Molly Cummings. “I know the community of Hopkins shares the same enthusiasm I have for Southwest LRT and the benefits it will bring. From the development already occurring near the Blake Road, Downtown Hopkins, and Shady Oak Road stations, to visitors arriving by LRT and experiencing what Hopkins has to offer, this is an exciting time for me and our community.”

Hopkins Mayor Jason Gadd echoes his predecessor’s sentiments. “I am thrilled for the City of Hopkins. Southwest LRT stands not only to provide a convenient transportation option for our residents, but also to bring new visitors to our hometown,” Gadd said. “Thanks to Southwest LRT a wider audience will be introduced to Hopkins, an audience that will shop at our businesses on Main Street and take in the fun of Raspberry Festival. I can’t wait.”

Hennepin County Commissioner Chris LaTondresse, whose district includes several cities along the route, said “If you travel along the line today, you’ll see hundreds of millions of dollars of redevelopment already happening in anticipation of Southwest Light Rail. This is an investment in our future that’s already transforming our community right now. Our communities are already seeing the positive impacts of this project, with new affordable housing, businesses, greenspace and amenities popping up in every city along the line.”

Southwest LRT is just one part of the METRO transit system.  When complete, Southwest LRT will offer riders a one-seat trip from Eden Prairie to downtown Saint Paul and connect with numerous bus lines along the way.

“Our LRT lines serve as a backbone for the entire METRO Transit system,” said METRO Transit General Manager Wes Kooistra. “Our job is to get our customers where they need to go in a timely and efficient manner, and Southwest LRT will be integral to our system moving forward.”

Southwest LRT is a 14.5-mile line with 16 stations serving Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, nearby Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie. Through 2019, the corridor has seen approximately $1.6 billion in development including affordable housing and commercial development. The Southwest LRT project is the state’s largest transportation project in history and includes LRT, regional trails, roadway connections, and freight rail improvements.

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Construction Update: November 19 - December 3, 2021

 

Holiday work hours
In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday no construction activities will be conducted on Thursday, November 25, through the weekend. However, residents should expect to see crews on site conducting ongoing maintenance and performing security checks. Pumps and generators at established sites will remain active through the weekend. If you have any construction related issues, our 24-hour hotline is fully staffed through the Thanksgiving break to take your questions.

Read the update

SWLRT Trail Detour Map


To help trail users navigate detours, we now have a Google mapping tool that can help you in the field. To view a larger version click on the square in the upper right hand corner.  

Explore The Route

Take a virtual flyover of the route of the METRO Green Line Extension from Eden Prairie through Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and downtown Minneapolis. Key design features of the new light rail line include passenger stations, park-and-ride facilities, bridges, tunnels, and pedestrian/bicycle facilities. See more about the METRO Green Line Extension route and stations.