When trains start rolling on the new Central Corridor Green Line, they will pick up and drop off passengers around the clock. As service begins June 14, the MTC will likely offer hourly service between 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. seven days a week, with more frequent service in the wee hours.
The Pioneer Press says that after running every 10 to 15 minutes during most of the day, service will be scaled back to roughly hourly during the early mornings.
The Star Tribune reports the overnight schedule for service linking the two downtowns comes as a concession to requests from Minneapolis City Council members Kevin Reich, Jacob Frey and Cam Gordon. Gordon and Frey represent wards that include the University of Minnesota and downtown, where patrons seek rides related to early-morning bar closings.
"I share your view that the public-transit needs of the people living in and visiting the areas served by the Green Line extend beyond 1 a.m.,” Metro Transit general manager Brian Lamb wrote the council members.
“We’ve got people just milling around downtown with nothing to do,” Frey said. “You’re more likely to have drunk drivers out on the road.”
The proposed Green Line hours are similar to weekend hours on the already functioning Blue Line. Two years ago Metro Transit extended hours early Saturday and Sunday mornings on the Hiawatha, which leaves downtown Minneapolis for the last time at around 3 a.m. on those weekend days. On other days, the last Hiawatha train leaves downtown Minneapolis stops a little after 1 a.m.
Currently, the MTC has no plans to offer 24-hour daily service on the Hiawatha Blue Line light rail and hasn’t considered schedules for the planned Southwest Corridor line in the future.