Expect trains anytime as operator training begins Feb. 24
So staying off tracks is more important than ever
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Feb. 19, 2014 –Anytime becomes train time on the METRO Green Line (Central Corridor LRT) beginning Monday when more than 100 light rail operators start preparing for the line’s June 14 opening.
“Staying off tracks and practicing other safe habits around trains takes on a heightened importance. Safety is a shared responsibility, so please visit http://www.metrotransit.org/green-line-safety and review the safety messages,” said Mike Conlon, Metro Transit’s director of rail and bus safety.
In addition, Metro Transit police would like to remind the public that violations of basic transit laws are misdemeanors with $180 fines.
Weekday roundtrips for light rail trains will occur as often as 10 minutes apart between Lowertown St. Paul and the connection with the Blue Line. The training runs are for 61 newly hired and certified Green Line operators and 58 Blue Line operators and their instructors. The operators already know how to run the trains. The purpose of the trips is to familiarize them with the Green Line route, stations, standard operating procedures and other features.
In addition to these operator training runs, trains movements will continue for test purposes. Test trains may operate anytime, any day of the week. In April, Metro Transit will switch to operating trains on the regular-service schedule from about 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week to prepare for the June 14 opening.
|University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s transit-pedestrian mall is an area where people need to have a heightened awareness of their surroundings.
“As the light rail training runs begin, pedestrians and cyclists will need to watch for both buses and trains sharing the tracks on the East Bank. It becomes especially important for everyone to observe all pedestrian, bike and traffic laws,” said Pamela Wheelock, Vice President for University Services.
The mall has gathering spots flanking both ends of the East Bank Station on Washington Avenue. These gathering areas are basically sidewalks between the two tracks on which trains and buses will operate. Pedestrians in these areas will need to use designated crosswalks and walk-signal buttons. Cyclists will need to use bike boxes to ride across the tracks at intersections. No left turns will be allowed for cyclists or drivers crossing the tracks.
See a video demonstration of how to safely use the Washington Avenue new bike boxes athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a5DSBlXqLE.
What the public can expect
Traffic should not be affected. Trains will operate with traffic, following traffic signals. If signals are unavailable or not functioning, trains will operate under guidance from Metro Transit controllers.
Trains normally will not exceed 35 mph during training and after revenue service begins. Speeds will be lower in downtown St. Paul and through the University of Minnesota.
Operators will not open train doors at stations or give rides to the public.
Stay safe. Stay off tracks
The Central Corridor LRT Project emphasizes four main safety points:
- Always stay off the tracks;
- Stay off station platforms until service begins in June 2014. After service begins, a paid fare will be required to be on platforms;
- Look both ways for oncoming trains during training and testing and after service begins;
- Cross only at intersections and legal mid-block crosswalks.
How to learn more
With the advent of train testing last summer, Metro Transit, Central Corridor LRT Project staff and the city of St. Paul collaborated on production of a safety video and public service announcements. Project staff began safety presentations to businesses, neighborhood groups school groups and others, and Metro Transit created safety posters for station kiosks, brochures and wrapped train exteriors in safety messages. See Metro Transit’s safety webpage for tips for staying safe and how to request a presentation athttp://www.metrotransit.org/green-line-safety
How to view the safety video, PSAs
Here are the links to the Green Line Quiz Bowl safety video and three PSAs:
Mid-block crossing PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYduwYwAaxQ
Crossing tracks PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqHgEXaXS2I
Stations PSA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2vE6FnLnMs
For more project facts, see:
Metro Green Line Fact Sheet: http://metrocouncil.org/Transportation/Projects/Current-Projects/Central-Corridor/Publications-And-Resources/News/Green-Line-Fact-Sheet.aspx
Updates to the June 14 celebration will be posted at: http://www.metrotransit.org/greenline
About the project:
The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project (Green Line) will link downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis along Washington and University avenues via the state Capitol and the University of Minnesota. Construction began in late summer 2010 on the planned 11-mile Central Corridor line, and service will begin on June 14, 2014. The line will connect with the METRO Blue Line at the Downtown East Station in Minneapolis and the Northstar commuter rail line at the Target Field Station. The Metropolitan Council is the grantee of federal funds. The regional government agency is charged with building the line in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The Central Corridor Management Committee, which includes commissioners from Ramsey and Hennepin counties, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota, provides advice and oversight. Funding is provided by the Federal Transit Administration, Counties Transit Improvement Board, state of Minnesota, Ramsey and Hennepin counties’ regional railroad authorities, city of St. Paul, Metropolitan Council and the Central Corridor Funders’ Collaborative. The Central Corridor LRT Project Website is www.centralcorridor.org.