University of Minnesota

Expert Alert: Putting the new Green Line into perspective

U of M experts are available to discuss the impact of the new Green Line on the Twin Cities.

June 9, 2014

The Metro Green Line opens on Saturday, June 14. This $957 million transit project, which began construction in 2010, will operate from Target Field in Minneapolis, through the heart of the University of Minnesota campus, to Union Depot in St. Paul.

University of Minnesota researchers are available to provide a variety of perspectives on this major transit project and what it means for the Twin Cities.

To schedule an interview with any of these experts, please contact: Michael McCarthy, Center for Transportation Studies,, (612) 624-3645.

Transit and economic development

Yingling Fan, assistant professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is a leading researcher for the Transitway Impacts Research Program, which measures the effects of transit on property values, land use and housing mix, businesses, travel behavior, environment and public health, safety and community cohesion in the Twin Cities.

At the Humphrey School, Fan studies the health and social impacts of urban land use, growth management and transit improvement. Her recent work focuses on employment accessibility and social mobility, regional economic competitiveness and transit development, along with access to green space and opportunities for healthy physical activity, all informed by a strong social equity perspective.

Transit and accessibility

Andrew Owen, director of the U’s Accessibility Observatory and a research fellow in the Department of Civil Engineering, studies accessibility, or how well transportation systems connect people to the things they want to reach. Owen leads the development and maintenance of tools to calculate nationwide, multimodal accessibility to a variety of destination types. In 2013, the Accessibility Observatory ranked accessibility to jobs by car in the top 50 U.S. metro areas. A similar ranking of accessibility to jobs by transit is forthcoming.

Owen holds master’s degrees in civil engineering and in urban and regional planning, and he has joined the field of transportation research following a career in computer science and network security. His master’s thesis focused on accessibility evaluation for public transit systems.

Transit and traffic flow

John Hourdos, director of the U’s Minnesota Traffic Observatory, is an expert in the area of intelligent transportation systems for traffic control and safety, with special emphasis on problems involving traffic modeling and simulation.

In collaboration with the ITS Institute, Hourdos designed, assembled and deployed an array of advanced Traffic Detection and Surveillance Stations in the highest freeway accident area in the Twin Cities. He also played a leading role in the recent evaluation of the Minnesota Zone Ramp Metering algorithm, research that received international attention within the transportation research community.

Transit and multimodal travel

Greg Lindsey, professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, is an expert in environmental planning, policy and management, as well as in infrastructure planning and management, including non-motorized and active transportation, water resources and recreation. His current research involves non-motorized transportation systems, including bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure, and studies of relationships between the built environment and active transportation and physical activity.

Twin Cities Campus: