MPR recently tracked four Green Line test runs from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis and back again to see how long the trip takes. The results weren't pretty, but Metro Transit isn't worried about it at this point.
The average trip from Union Depot Station to Target Field Station took one hour, 10 minutes, with the ride back to St. Paul only six minutes shorter. That's dramatically longer than the original 39 minute estimate. (That estimate, it should be noted, came before stops were added at Hamline Avenue, Victoria Street, and Western Avenue.)
In fact, MPR's numbers indicate the Green Line is slower than the tried-and-true Route 16 bus, which has a peak rush hour travel time of 63 minutes from downtown to downtown, according to Metro Transit statistics.
But Metro Transit Public Relations Manager John Siqveland says the Green Line won't take more than an hour once riders are able to ride the trains for real on June 14.
"That's what this period is for -- optimizing signalization and training those 120 rail operators and getting them familiar with the line," he tells us. "The acceleration zones, deceleration zones -- all those sorts of things is what is happening right now during testing and training."
Siqveland says he anticipates the process will be similar to what happened with the Blue Line, where "both leading up to the festivities of the opening weekend and the start of regular service and beyond there was a series of continual improvements."
Still, if you're in a hurry to get from downtown to downtown and don't have a car, you might not want to throw away that Route 94 bus schedule quite yet.
To watch a cool time-lapse tour of the entire Green Line route, click here.
:::: UPDATE ::::
Moments after this was published, Metro Transit distributed a press release trumpeting that the Green Line has already attracted $2.5 billion worth of new construction and redevelopment projects in the Central Corridor area since engineering work first began about five years ago. So, travel times aside, there's that.