Map Monday: St. Paul’s Proposed Downtown People Mover

A new exhibit at the Landmark Center of photographs of downtown St. Paul from 1978 has ties to the once-proposed downtown people mover that was nixed in 1980. Aaron Isaacs briefly recounted the never-built people mover’s history on this site last year.

Here’s the map of the preferred route and stations from the March 1979 final report for Preliminary Engineering and Related Studies for Saint Paul Downtown People Mover.

Map of route and stations for the proposed downtown people mover for St. Paul from 1979. The route travels from Lowertown to Seventh Place to the Capitol and another branch goes to United Hospital off Smith Avenue.

Preferred Route and Stations for the Saint Paul Downtown People Mover, 1979

And here’s a bonus map for the first Map Monday in May: the May 1979 cover of Mass Transit with the cities competing to build a people mover system first.

Cover of Mass Transit magazine from May 1979 showing a map of the United States with the following cities marked: St. Paul, Detroit, Miami, Houston, and Los Angeles

Mass Transit Cover from May 1979

The intro to the article about St. Paul might sound familiar today, except for the people mover part:

In St. Paul, this complaint is perennial: Why do airline pilots arriving in the Twin Cities always announce to their passengers the temperature in Minneapolis, the time in Minneapolis? Or, if they do mention St. Paul, why is it Minneapolis-St. Paul? St. Paulites reportedly chafe at the injustice.

Well, if all goes as planned, the people mover idea may help change all that.

In the end, Detroit and Miami built people movers, which are both still operating today. is a non-profit and is volunteer run. We rely on your support to keep the servers running. If you value what you read, please consider becoming a member.

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4 Responses to Map Monday: St. Paul’s Proposed Downtown People Mover

  1. Alex Schieferdecker
    Alex Schieferdecker May 7, 2018 at 3:11 pm #

    Taking the Miami People Mover was easily my dumbest ever transit experience. The good news is that they built it high in the air, so when South Florida returns to the ocean, the People Mover will remain as a monument to the folly of man.

    • Bill Lindeke
      Bill Lindeke May 8, 2018 at 9:19 am #

      * … the folly of Florida man.

  2. Matt Steele
    Matt May 7, 2018 at 3:51 pm #

    Jacksonville Florida and Las Colinas (a suburban business park in the Dallas area) also built people mover systems.

  3. Bill Lindeke
    Bill Lindeke May 8, 2018 at 9:19 am #

    This is so cray

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