About the Green Line Extension

The METRO Green Line Extension will operate on 14.5 miles of double track from downtown Minneapolis through the communities of St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie, passing near the city of Edina.

The line and its 16 new stations will connect major activity centers in the region including downtown Minneapolis, the Opus/Golden Triangle employment area in Minnetonka and Eden Prairie, downtown Hopkins, Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, the Eden Prairie Center, and the Chain of Lakes.

As an extension of the METRO Green Line, it will provide a one-seat ride from Eden Prairie to downtown St. Paul. It will be part of an integrated system of transitways, including connections to the METRO Blue Line, the Northstar Commuter Rail line, major bus routes, and proposed future transitways.

Twins fans walking near Green Line and Blue Line trains at the stadium.

Providing you reliable transportation to jobs, schools, appointments, and everyday activities that build community connection.

An apartment building near a light rail station in Hopkins.

Fostering partnerships and investments in each city along the line to help this entire region prosper.

People waiting to board a Green Line train.

Bringing people to jobs and jobs to the community, building homegrown economies along its tracks.

  • The approximately 14.5-mile route will serve the growing communities of Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka, and Eden Prairie.
  • 16 new stations with connections to streets and trails will be built, attracting new residential and commercial development.
  • As of August 2021, more than $1.5 billion has already been invested within ½ mile of the line.
  • In 2014, there were approximately 64,300 jobs within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 126,800 jobs in downtown Minneapolis. By 2035, employment is expected to grow to 80,900 within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 145,300 in downtown Minneapolis, a 18% increase in employment.
  • In 2014, there were about 35,800 people within ½ mile of the proposed stations and 16,400 residents with access to the 5 shared stations in downtown Minneapolis. By 2035, the population within ½ mile of the proposed stations is expected to grow by 56 percent to 55,800, and the population of downtown Minneapolis is expected to grow by 117 percent increase to 35,600.
  • Construction began in 2019.
  • With $350 million estimated construction payroll, Southwest LRT supports approximately 7,500 jobs.

The total project cost is $2.003 billion. Committed funding sources for the Southwest LRT:

  • Hennepin County: $591.4 million
  • Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB): $218.9 million (provided funding until dissolution in 2017)
  • Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority (HCRRA): $199.5 million
  • State of Minnesota: $30.3 million
  • Other local contributions: $26.4 million
  • Eden Prairie Town Center Station: $7.7 million ($6.14 million CMAQ, $1.54 million Eden Prairie)

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $928.8 million through the New Starts program with a Full Funding Grant Agreement, which was signed in September 2020.

The timeline for when the extension will begin passenger service as part of the METRO Green Line is under review.

September 2020: The Federal Transit Administration and the Met Council enter into a Full Funding Agreement, securing federal funding for the project.

2019 – Heavy construction began.

2019: Apply for Full Funding Grant Agreement, committing the federal government to pay 46 percent of the project’s capital cost.

May 2018: The Federal Transit Administration issues Amended Record of Decision. The Met Council and Hennepin County approve final scope and budget.

December 2016: The Federal Transit Administration approves Southwest LRT to enter the Engineering phase of the New Starts process.

August 2016: The Met Council approves scope and budget and Determination of Adequacy, and submits application to enter the Engineering phase of the Federal Transit Administration's New Starts funding process.

July 2016: The Federal Transit Administration issues Record of Decision.

May 2016: The Met Council publishes the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

August – September 2015: Hennepin County and municipalities along the route provide approval for the project in a second Municipal Consent process, covering changes in project scope described in the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

June 2015: The Met Council holds three public hearings to receive comments on the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

May 2015: The Met Council publishes the Southwest LRT Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

2015: Advanced Design Consultants continue design and engineering activities.

August 2014: In the Municipal Consent process, Hennepin County and cities along the Southwest LRT route review and approve preliminary plans.

January 2013: The Met Council hires Preliminary Engineering Consultants and begins Preliminary Engineering.

December 2012: The Met Council becomes the project lead with the transfer of Responsible Government Unit status from Hennepin County.

November 2012: Hennepin County holds three public hearings to receive public comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Nearly 1000 comments are received during the Draft EIS public review and comment period in November and December.

October 2012: Hennepin County publishes the Southwest Transitway Draft Environmental Impact Statement.

August 2012: The Met Council names a Business Advisory Committee to provide an avenue for monthly input.

May 2012: The Southwest Project Office opens in the Park Place West building in St. Louis Park.

April 2012: The Met Council names a Community Advisory Committee to provide an avenue for public input.

September 2011: The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) approves the project to begin Preliminary Engineering.

December 2010: The Met Council establishes a project management structure, and names a Corridor Management Committee to provide oversight.

August 2010: The Met Council applies to the Federal Transit Administration for approval to enter Preliminary Engineering.

27 new light rail vehicles (LRVs) were ordered and have begun entering service on the existing METRO Blue Line. The new Type 3 LRVs were built by Siemens in California and include several significant changes from the Type 1 and Type 2 LRVs currently in service.

New features of Type 3 LRVs

  • The interior of the new LRT vehicles being used for Southwest LRT have been modified after feedback from community members as part of the design process. The new design has seats running parallel along the middle vehicle, or “C” car. This updated design will have seats facing each other across the expanded aisle. These changes were based on input that was received from the Met Council’s Transportation Accessibility Advisory Committee, an advisory group who rely on transit and provide ongoing advice to transit leaders regarding issues related to people with disabilities. Watch video.
  • This updated middle car design increases circulation for people who use mobility devices by increasing the center aisle width from 24 inches to 40 inches.
  • The new middle car design eliminates knee-to-knee seating, which promoted people putting their feet on the seats.
  • The new vehicles have spray-on flooring and plastic seats, rather than fabric, which are easier to maintain and clean.
  • The new light rail vehicles are easier to work on, requiring less staff time to perform routine maintenance. Harder-to-reach mechanical components have been relocated to the top and bottom of the vehicle, allowing easier access.

The first of the new LRV’s, #301, has undergone final inspection and is in service. New vehicles are arriving monthly and will undergo rigorous testing and enter revenue service throughout the course of 2021.

Unfortunately, due to different mechanical systems, the Type 2 LRVs can not be retrofitted with the new seating arrangement found in the Type 3’s. However, as older vehicles are taken out of service, they will be replaced by the new Type 3’s.

Exterior of Type 3 LRV on the METRO Green Line Interior of Type 3 LRV showing linear seating arrangement