Thanks to everyone who participated in the Win a Green Line Hat sweepstakes. There were several charming and thought-provoking anecdotes about the Green line.
There was a spontaneous sing-along, an unfortunate tale of casual intolerance, and a celebrity sighting, but one theme that emerged was people not understanding the difference between the Green and Blue line. One that sparked some speculation was Jim Ivey’s anecdote about the woman who took the Green Line all the way to downtown St. Paul, only to wonder where the Mall of America was. (I think a goal of St. Paul should be to make its downtown more and more vibrant until people stop being disappointed when they do this.) Was it an illustration of rail bias? Of the class connotations of different transit modes? That sounds sinister, but I might have done the same as a tourist with a whole day to kill. Are trains just that fun? Are people completely irrational? There was an allusive ambiguity to the story that raised more questions than it answered. Jim, please email me your mailing address to receive the Green Line Hat. joe.scott.email(at)gmail.com
Incidentally, if this contest had included the Blue line, I probably would have won because I once saw a man get on at the 38th st station, sit down, take a long swig from a 375mL plastic bottle of vodka, clip all his fingernails, and get off at Lake.
Someone bring this woman to a Riverview Corridor open house!
My story is from the Blue Line as well. When it opened in 2004 it seemed like very rider for the first year was a first-time rider – people were really curious about this novelty: a passenger train in Minnesota.
One evening a few people from out of town were across the aisle from me. One of the men commented, “they should build a train from Brainerd to Mille Lacs so you could tow your boat!”