Downtown East (Metro Transit station)
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Downtown East light rail station with southbound Blue Line train
|Address||429 Park Ave South|
|Opened||June 26, 2004|
|Owned by||Metro Transit|
|Fare zone||Downtown zone|
The station, located where the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome plaza used to be at the east end of downtown Minneapolis, is a side-platform station. Service began at this station when the Blue Line opened on June 26, 2004.
A major feature of the site is the set of ornamental arches that stand next to the station. They are meant to reflect the Stone Arch Bridge, a major landmark of the city that crosses the Mississippi River a few blocks away. The patterns in the brickwork are meant to reflect fabric designs worn by 19th century immigrants in the Elliot Park neighborhood.
The station is normally not busy except for weekend sporting events at the Dome, when large crowds are lined up. It would take up to an hour for the platforms to return to normal after a big game.
The station was also considered to be the main stop for students traveling to the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus, as a few frequent bus routes run to campus nearby. The METRO Green Line light rail runs between Minneapolis and St. Paul and now provides a direct connection to the university.
East of this station, past the crossing of 4th Street and Chicago Avenue, trains enter the segment of the line where automatic block signaling (ABS) is used. In contrast, light rail vehicles must obey stop lights in the downtown region. The rail line uses a system of lights which display either vertical or horizontal white bars to the train operator.
Notable places nearby
- New Minnesota Stadium (future)
- Minneapolis Armory (1 block)
- Star Tribune Headquarters (1 block)
- Hennepin County Medical Center (2 blocks)
- Mill City Museum (3 blocks)
- Guthrie Theater (3 blocks)
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