Green Line pulls back some overnight service

A rider boards a Green Line light rail train.
Metro Transit is ending 24/7 service on the Green Line. Under the plan, light rail trains will not run between 2 and 4 a.m. on weekdays.
Tim Nelson | MPR News file

Metro Transit is ending 24/7 service on the Green Line between downtown St. Paul and downtown Minneapolis.

The change, which is scheduled to take effect in August, comes amid concerns about drug use, assaults and other misconduct on the trains.

Under the plan, the light rail trains will not run between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. weekdays.

General Manager Wes Kooistra said the trains will be replaced with buses that will stop near each Green Line station.

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Kooistra said the two-hour shutdown will also give crews more time to clean train cars and repair tracks.

"Under the current Green Line schedule, maintenance staff is often required to work while overhead power lines remain energized, which can complicate their work," Kooistra wrote on the Metro Transit website. "Some maintenance activities are delayed until there are other reasons to suspend light rail service, such as road maintenance and construction. This is clearly not the best way to keep this important public asset in good repair."

Hundreds of homeless take shelter on the Twin Cities light rail system overnight. Kooistra said transit is an unacceptable option for people who need affordable housing or other support.