Downtown East (Metro Transit station)
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Downtown East light rail station with southbound Blue Line train
|Location||429 Park Ave South|
|Owned by||Metro Transit|
|Fare zone||Downtown zone|
|Opened||June 26, 2004|
The station is located next to U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome plaza used to be at the east end of downtown Minneapolis. It is a side-platform station. Service began at this station when the Blue Line opened on June 26, 2004.
Services and connections
The station is served by METRO Green and Blue Lines. It is the primary transfer point between the two lines, as it is the last east/south-bound station shared by the two. Green Line trains feature posters reminding airport-bound passengers to change to the Blue Line at Downtown East.
During sporting events at the Metrodome, large crowds used to line up to use the trains. It would take up to an hour for the platforms to return to normal after a big game.
Prior to the opening of the METRO Green Line, the station was the main stop for students traveling to the East Bank and West Bank campuses of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, as a few frequent bus routes ran to campus nearby. Today, the METRO Green Line light rail runs between Minneapolis and St. Paul and now provides a direct connection to the university. Among buses, only Route 3 now serves the station.
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.
The two METRO lines split east of the station, over Interstate 35W.
A major feature of the site is a set of large ornamental arches, by artists Andrew Leicester and Jane Zweig, 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.
Notable places nearby
- Downtown East Commons (future)
- U.S. Bank Stadium (future)
- Minneapolis Armory (1 block)
- Former Star Tribune Headquarters (1 block)
- Hennepin County Medical Center (2 blocks)
- Mill City Museum (3 blocks)
- Guthrie Theater (3 blocks)
Media related to Downtown East (Metro Transit station) at Wikimedia Commons