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.

Project status

As of December 2021, the phase of the METRO Green Line Extension project to install tracks and construct structures and stations is 60% complete, with 11 of the 16 stations under construction or nearly complete, and the first tracks in place.

Over the last two years of construction, the project has encountered several construction challenges that have increased costs and caused delays. This is not uncommon for a project the size and complexity of the METRO Green Line Extension.

We know this project will take more time and cost more than we initially expected. This is a complex project, with many overlapping elements. At this point, we’re doing our best to contain additional costs, by re-ordering critical work that remains. We will communicate progress and continue to work to make sure the service can begin as soon as possible.

There are three phases of this project remaining:

  • Completing the current phase of track installation, and station and structure construction
  • Systems construction phase
  • System and operational testing

Scenarios regarding the time and funding needed to complete the project are becoming clearer. We know that the project will require about three more years to complete the current phase of structure and station construction, followed by about two more years of systems work and operations testing. We anticipate opening the line in 2027.

We understand that adding time to a large-scale project also adds additional costs. We are doing everything we can to reduce the time impact to the project’s budget. We understand the public wants us to ensure we are investing their dollars wisely. We believe this project delivers the returns on investment that make it a prudent expenditure, both to enhance our transit system and to seed economic development.

To date, funding for this project has included federal funds and tax revenues generated in and collected by Hennepin County. State law limits the use of state funds to support the METRO Green Line Extension project. And we are working with funding partners to find the best ways to move this project forward.

The Met Council stands behind this project. For 40 years, we’ve all imagined this investment, and we’re committed to finishing the job.

  • The approximately 14.5-mile route will serve the growing communities of Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, and Minneapolis.
  • 16 new stations with connections to streets and trails will be built, attracting new residential and commercial development.
  • Nearly 56,000 people live within a 10-minute walk of the corridor. People traveling to and within the corridor will access nearly 81,000 jobs along the extension, in addition to the 145,000 jobs in downtown Minneapolis. And nearly 36,000 residents who live downtown will have easier access to job opportunities in the southwest metro and other communities connected by our region’s transit system.
  • People from across Minnesota have been designing and constructing this line. Minnesotans in 65 out of our 87 counties (75% of the state) are bringing home a METRO Green Line Extension paycheck, earning more than a collective $53.1 million.
  • Even during construction, the METRO Green Line Extension has already seen more than $2 billion of investment within a 10-minute walk of the line.

2027: Anticipated opening of the line.

2025-2027: Systems construction and operational testing.

2019-2025: Structure and station construction, track installation.

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 begins.

2019: Applied 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

METRO Green Line Extension

Green Line Extension Project Office
Park Place West Building, Suite 500
6465 Wayzata Boulevard
St. Louis Park, MN 55426

Construction hotline: 612-373-3933