Met Council temporarily closing Uptown Transit Station, hiring more private security

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The Metropolitan Council has decided to close the Metro Transit Uptown Station in Minneapolis temporarily and hopes to re-open it when newly hired security guards are on the job sometime this spring.

The Met Council and Metro Transit cited rising violent crime, vandalism and drug usage as reasons for shutting down the Uptown station, which is used by customers waiting for bus and light rail transportation.

In a unanimous vote, the Met Council also approved a two-year, $6 million contract with Allied Universal Security to provide unarmed security personnel at six different Metro Transit locations where crime has been the biggest problem.

Met Council member Wendy Wulff said crime was up 54% on buses and trains in 2022 and the need to help Metro Transit Police with security personnel was imperative.

“It’s unfortunate that we need to do this, but we really need to do this,” said Wulff.  “We’ve seen the decline in behavior at the stations, we’ve seen damage to our equipment, and having someone there to preserve our stations is absolutely necessary at this point.”

Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle said security will be used at Brooklyn Center Station, Chicago Street Station, Franklin Station, Uptown Station, Lake Street/Midtown Station and Central Station in St. Paul.  Zelle said a pilot project with security personnel started at two stations last fall and has been a success.

“A human presence, we have found, particularly on platforms and stations is really important in order for the safety of our employees, and our customers to create that welcoming environment,” said Zelle.

The security contract is $3 million for one year and a second year will be $3 million if the Met Council sees results. If the Met Council does not approve of the performance by the security guards, the agency can cancel the contract after 12 months.