Big concerts make for a busy Friday night Downtown

The evening of Friday, July 12, will be busy Downtown, with a concert at Target Field and the Basilica Block Party not far away. Because big crowds will be coming Downtown, it’s a good idea to know your transportation options and plan ahead, whether you plan to drive, take transit, or bike or walk.

Events on Friday, July 12

The City, Metro Transit, and many partners are again teaming up to make sure getting to and from events 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.

Special Northstar Commuter Rail line train for Friday

Metro Transit has added extra service on the Northstar Commuter Rail line and will operate all three-car METRO Blue Line trains for the Kenny Chesney concert  on Friday. The opening act hits the stage at 5 p.m. A specially-scheduled Northstar train will depart Big Lake Station at 3:06 p.m., arriving at Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis at 3:55 p.m. Concertgoers may also choose the regularly-scheduled Northstar trip that departs Big Lake Station at 5:06 p.m. and arrives at Target Field at 5:55 p.m. An extra trip has also been scheduled to depart Target Field Station 30 minutes after the concert concludes. Concertgoers choosing Northstar are encouraged to pre-order convenient roundtrip train tickets online at metrotransit.org/Chesney.

Connecting Northstar Link bus service between St. Cloud, Becker and Big Lake Station on the Northstar Commuter Rail Line is also available for the concert.

New this year – The Interchange is coming!

Visitors to Target Field and Target Center 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. Both are on the METRO Blue Line (Hiawatha) and many bus lines. Target Field and Target Center are located at the junction of Northstar commuter rail, the METRO Blue Line, and a number of bus lines, at the future site of The Interchange.
  4. Bicycles are another great way to get to events – 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. All METRO Blue Line trains are scheduled to operate with three cars all weekend.

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.

Managing traffic

The City of Minneapolis takes a number of steps to manage traffic during big events Downtown. The volume of pedestrians, bikes, and cars Downtown before and after these events means increased traffic, but there are several ways the City works to improve operations and minimize congestion, including:

Published Jul 10, 2013