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Green Line at 1 month: 426 fare evaders, but few other crimes

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Metro transit officials say transit police have had reports of 426 riders not paying their fare on Green Line trains, but they've seen little other crime on trains or at stations in the first month of operation for the new light rail route, the Pioneer Press reports.

For the fare evaders, transit police gave a number of verbal warnings, wrote out 129 citations and arrested six, the newspaper reports.

Metro transit police also dealt with 27 reports of disorderly conduct, 10 fights and five assaults. Transit officials say the Green Line had almost 1 million riders in its first month; officers filed roughly 7.5 police reports per 10,000 riders.

Officials say that since opening weekend, the average weekday ridership has been 30,264, well over a target ridership for 2015 of 27,500 per weekday, WCCO reports.

Officials are taking stock of the new light rail train that connects the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis, one month after its widely anticipated launch.

Of special concern for officials are nine train collisions with vehicles - three during train tests and six since the June 14 launch. In eight of the nine cases, drivers made illegal turns, Metro Transit officials say.

Transit officials tell the Pioneer Press that in these early days of the trains' operations, they are also worried about pedestrians walking off platforms into traffic. They have created an internal working group to study three areas – engineering, education, and enforcement – to seek out new solutions that would help lower accident rates.

Metro Transit has safety and security information for pedestrians and drivers on its website, including information about what all its signals and signs mean.

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