Safety first, that is the message from Metro Transit and St. Paul police as training runs on the Metro Green Line ramp up.

On Thursday, officials from both agencies announced a coordinated campaign to promote safety along the 11-mile light-rail line that will run from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis. The line officially opens June 14.

The campaign aimed at motorists and pedestrians includes education and enforcement of traffic rules as testing ramps up. Specifically they will be focusing getting motorists to obey traffic and crossing signals and yield to pedestrians at intersections along the line. For pedestrians, the goal is to get them to properly use mid-block crossings.

In the near future, trains on training runs will be operating as frequently as every 10 minutes throughout the day, said John Siqveland, a Metro Transit spokesman.

“The beginning of light-rail service in St. Paul is now less than eight weeks away,” said St. Paul city council member Russ Stark. “This partnership raises safety awareness for our residents and visitors as we count down to opening day.”

Metro Transit says officers will conduct dedicated patrols in squads, on bicycles and on foot along University Avenue and in downtown St. Paul. The patrols will working mostly during peak travel times, but motorists and pedestrians can anticipate seeing officers at all times of day.

“Our focus will be safety education and engagement, but we will issue citations, if necessary, as we monitor motorist and pedestrian activity closely,” said St. Paul Police Western District Senior Commander Paul Iovino.

PHOTO CREDIT: Metro Transit

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