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Saturday, June 26, 2004

Light Rail is here!

Following the long lines last night at Fahrenheit 9/11, I encountered more long lines at the opening of the Hiawatha Light Rail line today.

At around 12:30 I took the bus to the Lake Street station, where I had to wait for at least twenty minutes to even get up to the platform. I decided to head southbound (a mistake, which I later learned), and a train went by before I could find enough room to get on board.

The ride to the Fort Snelling station was impressive. Quiet, smooth, and just in general very nice. I have ridden the "L" in Chicago many times, and compared to that system's old tracks, jumpy rides, and trains in poor condition, this was far better. Bike racks have been included in the trains, a very needed touch.

When I got off the train at Fort Snelling (which everybody had to do), the line to go back towards downtown was over two hours long. I decided to take the bus instead, which was running parallel to the light rail line to ferry the enormous crowds around. After much more waiting in line, and a very slow bus ride later, I arrived back at the Lake Street station and went home. Time: after three o'clock. Almost three hours to go to Fort Snelling and back, a distance of only a few miles. At least for today, light rail is the popularity king.

More info: Metro Transit.


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