Triple sports whammy helps Twin Cities light rail top 100K riders in a day

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A perfect storm of sporting events created the right conditions for the Twin Cities light rail system to get 100,000 riders in one day for the first time in its history.

According to the Metropolitan Council, 100,909 rides were taken on the Blue and Green lines on Thursday, Sept. 1 – the latest milestone for the transit system.

And a big reason for the landmark being achieved is that – as well as being a regular working day – Sept. 3 saw the Twin Cities host home Twins, Gophers football and St. Paul Saints games. Those accounted for about a quarter of the rides.

The light rail's proximity to major sports stadiums has proved a big winner with fans, with the Metro Council saying more than 500,000 rides had been taken by Twins fans this season through the end of August.

The popularity of the rail system seems to be growing, with rider numbers on each of the Green and Blue lines topping 1 million in July.

This is likely to be improved further next year with the opening of the $1 billion U.S. Bank Stadium expected to bring huge numbers to the Downtown East light rail station.

MPR reported last year that the $1 billion Green Line is already well on its way to surpassing the 40,936 daily passenger trips forecast by Metro Transit chiefs by 2030.

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