Updated: 06/07/2014 7:46 PM
Created: 06/07/2014 2:24 PM KSTP.com
By: Josh Rosenthal
About 20 years worth of planning are about to pay off.
Next Saturday, Green Line trains will take passengers to and from Minneapolis and St. Paul for the first time. Metro Transit gave KSTP a preview of the route.
The aptly named Rolland Green operated the train. When the Green Line officially gets the green light, he might be the happiest guy in all of Minnesota. There are 120 train operators and Green trained them all.
"I'm ready for it to open up and just get it on and see how it's going to work," he said.
The overall cost of the project totals $957 million, with 47 cars riding along the line. Officials say 40,000 people per weekday are expected to ride once the line really gets going.
Of course, all the numbers and planning in the world won't do any good if the line isn't ready to go by Saturday. KSTP asked Metropolitan Council Chair Susan Haigh if the trains would be ready to go.
"We are ready," Haigh said. "It's going to be great."
In fact, the Green Line is ahead of schedule. As part of their funding agreement with the federal government, Metro Transit had until December to complete the project.
"This is really 20 years worth of work in this metropolitan area," Haigh said. "I think I went to my first meeting on the Central Corridor Light Rail Line in 1995."
Saturday's test run was one of the last Green Line trial runs Green will ever operate. Turns out, that's just fine with him.
"People of St. Paul are going to be happy with light rail coming through their city," Green said.