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Green Line keeps pedestrians, college students on track

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Turns out the train can bring additional foot traffic to the city.

The Star Tribune looked at pedestrian studies conducted in downtown Minneapolis since the arrival of the Green Line. The research suggests the light rail system created a surge in pedestrians on the street and in the skyways.

The story looked at a survey by Pedestrian Studies, which is identified as Minneapolis-based national research firm that helps develop pedestrian-friendly communities. Its count of morning pedestrian travel near the light rail stop at 5th and Nicollet showed a 20 to 25 percent jump in the weeks following the opening of the new line that connects Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Meanwhile, the Pioneer Press this week reported that University of Minnesota students have embraced the light rail for getting to and from campus. The student traffic is credited with boosting Green Line ridership. Metro Transit's new light rail corridor averaged 40,445 weekday rides from Sept. 1 through Sept. 5, the first week of the University of Minnesota's fall semester. Average weekday ridership the week before totaled 36,801 passenger trips.

That exceeds Metro Transit's initial projections for ridership for 2015, when the state's second light rail line was once expected to carry 28,500 riders per day.

The line, which began service on June 14, carried 2.4 million passengers through the end of August.

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