A plethora of politicians will be on hand Saturday morning to kick off the new Green Line light rail system when it starts carrying passengers between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis, with plenty of stops along University Avenue.
Protesters will be on hand, too. They think the whole $957 million deal is a waste of taxpayer money.
Scheduled for the 9 a.m. official celebration at St. Paul’s Union Depot, the eastern terminus, for speeches and festivities are:
- U.S. Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Peter Rogoff
- Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh
- Gov. Mark Dayton
- U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar
- U.S. Sen. Al Franken
- U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison
- U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum
- Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough
- Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin
- St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman
- Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges
Many of the stations along the way, too, including the Target Field western terminus, will host parties to familiarize riders with the new transit service.
Protesters, led by the Minnesota Majority and the Taxpayers League of Minnesota, plan to be at on University Avenue, just west of the Dale Street station, to protest at 9 a.m. They say the cost and $35 million annual operating budget for the service are unsustainable.