Ok, so today i rode the light rail for the first time and cannot express in words how completely impressed I am. I dont care how much money went into the construction i think that its well worth it and has the potential to get more and more cars off of the street, and its about time. I first thought that the location of the rail was going to leave for empty seats and lots of wasted effort, but even when i was riding the LiR around lunch 12 to 1pm there were plently of people traveling into and out of downtown. I expected to see a lot of middle to lower class and lots of single riders, but that wasn't the case either. A group of businessmen and women had taken the train to go have a meeting over lunch, a grandmother was taking her grandkids on the train just for fun to go downtown and visit some exhibit, a group of people were taking the train just to go out and see Fort Snelling probably for the first time.
In comparison to other cities' trains, the LiR was very smooth with a high quality of controlled ventilation systems and comfortable seating options. Large windows on all sides of the cars provide great views during the entire journey through Minneapolis. I was surprised at some of the new perspectives of Minneapolis I was able to get from a trains-eye-view riding through tunnels over bridges and in between buildings and various neighborhoods.
I got off of the train at various stations, but my favorite of them all is the Cedar-Riverside station by Julie Snow.
It takes advantage of the few minutes that it has to influence its visitors and decides to make an educational experience for all waiting riders. The roof of the structure displays the constellations of the stars becoming a synecdoche for the expansive sky.
The location of the station with a predominantly Somalian neighborhood, becomes evident in the brickwork on the ground with a typical Somali textile pattern.
Each station obtains a new design concept for the particular location. Check out what the architects were thinking with their designs for each site-specific station.