Plan ahead, know your transportation options as Twins home opener approaches

When the Minnesota Twins take to the field on Opening Day, April 1, downtown Minneapolis will be especially busy, with a Minnesota Timberwolves game at Target Center that evening. So whether you’re going to a Minnesota Twins game, catching a show at Target Center, or taking in entertainment at venues across Downtown, spring is a good time for folks to refresh their memories on all the transportation options available for getting to and around Downtown.

Events on April 1:

The City, Metro Transit, and many partners are again teaming up to make sure getting to and from games goes as smoothly as it can. As usual, Downtown Improvement District Ambassadors will be out on the streets in their bright green shirts, and they’re a great resource for people who have questions while they’re out and about Downtown.

New this year – The Interchange is coming!

Visitors to Target Field this summer will notice some changes on the 5th Street side of the ballpark, where Hennepin County is constructing the Interchange. Scheduled to open in 2014, the Interchange will serve as a central, multi-modal transportation hub and community gathering space in downtown Minneapolis. For the 2013 Twins season, construction means there will be some minor changes to the way riders will board light rail trains after games, and Metro Transit staff will be on hand to assist customers. The project partners would like to thank folks for their patience while this major improvement is under way.

Getting where you’re going

Downtown is an urban setting that provides transportation opportunities to meet everyone’s desired experience, whether you want to drive, ride a bus, take a train, or bike or walk.

When visiting Downtown, there are five tips people should remember to minimize delays and maximize their enjoyment of all the activities going on.

  1. Plan ahead – Visit TwinsBaseball.com/transportation or Targetcenter.com to learn more about all your transportation choices. Visit the Downtown Improvement District’s events calendar at www.MinneapolisDID.com to see what events are going on any day.
  2. Know your parking options – There is parking availability throughout Downtown. If you prefer convenient access to Target Field and Target Center, the adjacent A,B,C, and Hawthorne ramps have plenty of capacity, and the ramps empty smoothly after games, without long waits. If you’re parking on the street when coming Downtown, make sure to check the signs to be sure of the time limit and hours of enforcement for your parking space.
  3. Use transit – Target Field and Target Center are extremely transit –friendly.  The facilities are located at the junction of Northstar commuter rail, the Hiawatha light rail, and many bus lines – future site of The Interchange.
  4. Bicycles are another great way to the games – Bicyclists are reminded to use headlights and taillights after dark and, if possible, to wear light or reflective clothing.
  5. Come early/Stay late – The Warehouse District is ready to welcome fans for another summer of baseball, basketball, shows, and excitement. Take part in activities, shopping, dining, and other entertainment before and after games and concerts. Enjoy the extra time to experience all Downtown has to offer, and beat the traffic.

Taking transit to events

The Northstar commuter rail line offers direct service to Target Field from stations in Big Lake, Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley. For added savings, the Northstar Roundtrip Family Pass offers roundtrip rides for two adults and up to three kids ages 6-17 for $20 or less. Customers can buy round-trip tickets and Northstar Roundtrip Family Passes for Twins games online at metrotransit.org/Northstar. Full train schedules for every game and fare information are available for viewing and printing at metrotransit.org/twins. Additionally, Northstar Link bus service from St. Cloud and Becker is scheduled to connect with trains at Big Lake for every game this season.

The METRO Blue Line (Hiawatha) runs from Bloomington, past Target Center, and directly to Target Field’s gates. It serves large Park & Ride facilities at Fort Snelling and 28th Avenue stations which have nearly 2,800 free parking spaces. NEW for the 2013 season – trains serving Twins games will have more cars to give fans a more comfortable ride. The addition of brand-new light-rail cars will provide more capacity and faster boarding after games.

Direct bus service on Twins Express Route 679 from the County Road 73 Park & Ride in Minnetonka with hundreds of free parking spaces will be offered for every Twins home game again in 2013. Buses start taking fans to the ballpark two hours before each game. Return service begins two hours after first pitch (example: 7:10 p.m. game, buses begin returning to the Park & Ride at 9:10) and continues roughly every half hour until an hour after the game ends.

A number of popular and frequent bus routes stop near Target Field. From the east, Routes 3, 16, 50 and 94 serve Ramp B/5th Street Transit Center adjacent to Target Field and Target Center. Many other frequent routes travel along Hennepin and Nicollet avenues just blocks away.

Online tools and information for instantly planning bus or train trips to Twins games is available at metrotransit.org/twins.

 

Published Mar. 28, 2013