In honor of its one-year anniversary, this is your chance to win a piece of the Green Line!
This green, 100% cotton, one-size-fits-all baseball cap comes with a patch of actual Green Line seat upholstery sewn on the front. Share your most interesting anecdote about riding the Green Line in the comments by this Friday. The best anecdote wins the hat.
The best one I’ve got is, once when I was taking the Green Line back home from Trieu Chau, as it rolled into a station (don’t remember which) there was a little boy of about 12 standing right outside my window. The whole time the train was stopped, he beamed at me and waved. I smiled and waved back at him. But just as the train began to depart, he suddenly hocked a loogie right at the window! I felt mildly insulted, yet relieved not to have loogie on me.
But I’m sure someone can top that. I’ll announce the winner on June 14, the Green Line’s official one-year anniversary.
I was waiting for the Green Line one day to go to the U, and was approached by a man and his high school aged kid. The man asked me “Do you know how to get to America’s Mall?”, to which I replied “what?”. The son rolled his eyes, and said “The Mall of America”. I gave them instructions to get there, pretty straightforward.
We started to chat a bit waiting for the train, the man asked me what I do (I’m a grad student at the U), asked me if I had a plan for after I graduate, basic things. However, the conversation quickly transitioned into how Obama was a socialist, and China and Russia were proof that socialism didn’t work (not socialist countries, mind you).
It was one of the more bizarre experiences I had on the Green Line. No hard feelings towards the guy, he was obviously very passionate. Just a weird experience.
My husband and I were riding the Green line from a Twin’s game last summer and the train was packed to capacity. Out of nowhere, this guy starts singing “Til the End of Time” by Justine Timberlake to his girlfriend and pulls out a ring and proposes. The funny thing, is that this is my husbands favorite JT song and when the guy stopped singing, my husband was still singing and awkwardly starred at the guy and said “I had to finish that for you man!” It was hilarious and added the proposal story! The woman of course said yes and the entire car cheered! One of the funniest/sweetest moments I had on Green line.
In the early months of operation for the Green Line, I took a ride all the way from Nicollet Mall back home to the Union Depot station. When I boarded the train it was already pretty full, and a young lady sat next to me. After the first couple of stops I asked her if this was her first time taking transit in the Twin Cities and she said yes, and we started a nice conversation about the LRT that took us all the way to the Union Depot.
When we finally got off the train, she looked around, clearly confused. When I asked her if she needed help with directions in Lowertown, she replied “How do I get to the Mall of America?”
After explaining that she’d accidentally gotten on the wrong train in Minneapolis, I gave her directions on how to take the 54 express bus to MOA, and offered to walk her over to the nearest stop. She shrugged and said “No, I’d rather take the train.” When I told her that it would be a two-hour train ride instead of a 30-minute bus ride, she nodded and said “That’s okay, I just don’t feel comfortable taking the bus.”
The Green Line: An Inefficient Way To Avoid One’s Irrational (And Maybe Sorta Racist And/Or Classist) Fear Of The Bus?
See also, people who always take the Green Line from Downtown to Downtown who wouldn’t dare be seen on the 94 bus.
I take both the 94 and the Green Line. I would say the so-called “better class” take the 94 during the hours it runs.
I just don’t understand this fear of the bus that people have. To be honest, I feel much much safer on the bus than the train. You are in the same physical space as the driver, s/he can see what is going on, and can stop the bus in the event of an emergency. On the train if a fight breaks out (or any other crime), nothing is happening until the next stop at the soonest. I actively avoid the trains for the buses as much as possible.
I was standing at Central Station around 7:30 one evening when a German tourist with very limited English asked me if this was the train to Mall of America. I politely directed him the bus stop on 6th and Cedar, where he could catch a 54 directly to the mall, and went back to reading an article on my phone. When the train arrived, the man got into my car and started riding west, toward Minneapolis. He then sat down next to me and again asked how to get to the Mall of America. A few minutes of gesticulating at the map allowed him to understand that a transfer and long ride on the Blue Line would be necessary.
He then asked what time he would arrive at the Mall of America. I guessed that it would be 9:00 or so. Now he gets a look of panic on his face.
It turns out the MOA was his transfer point to the Mystic Lake Casino shuttle, the last of which, based on the flyer he showed me, was scheduled to leave in less than 5 minutes.
“Are there any other buses I could catch?” Being far too nice, I looked it up on my phone. “No, there aren’t.”
“Can you call them and ask?” Being far too nice, I called and asked. (Did you know Mystic Lake Casino Shuttle has a 24/7 information line? I certainly didn’t) “No, there aren’t.”
“How am I supposed to get to Mystic Lake Casino?
“I think a taxi is your best bet.”
“I don’t have any money.”
“Sorry to hear that.”
“How much will a cab cost?”
“At least $50”
“Can I have $50?”
“Sorry, you can not”
At this time, the train pulls up to Victoria Street. He abruptly gets up and walks off the train and disappears into the night. I’m beginning to suspect he was not a German tourist at all.
Don’t casino buses leave from the Union Depot too? For a while, in fact, that was the only “transit” available at the fancy station.
I hope you have a lot of hats, Joe
This is truly hilarious! 🙂 Thanks fo rsharing!
My boyfriend and I, also a guy, decided to take the train to downtown St. Paul from downtown Minneapolis on St. Patrick’s Day. It was free, so we thought what the heck. We are new to the twin cities and had never actually been to downtown St. Paul. We had a few drinks and felt comfortable enough to hold hands. While we were sitting there these two younger guys started looking, laughing, and talking, presumably about us. As we pulled up to their stop they asked us, “are you happy?” I replied, “yes?” They both started laughing and yelling things into the train like, “you guys gay!” There was a fellow passenger who told the guys to leave us alone but that did not deter the two guys. I guess I will only take the train when I have to pay for it. But that probably won’t matter.
to be fair, “gay” is a synonym for “happy”
this isn’t a bad story: https://streets.mn/2014/06/24/podcast-66-riding-the-green-line-with-david-levinson/
The second day the Green Line was open, it was crowded leaving downtown St. Paul, so I stood in front of the bike rack, knowing I’d move if a bicyclist boarded and needed it. A few stops later at the Capitol, a bicyclist got on and said “Excuse me” to get to the rack for his bike. It was MnDOT’s Commissioner, Charlie Zelle.
And being the transportation nerd that I am, after chatting for a bit, I asked if I could take my photo with him. It’s nice to have a DOT head who actually uses all modes of transportation.