MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Metro Transit officials may have been pinching themselves after new light rail ridership numbers were released.

With some help from the Minnesota Vikings relocating their games to TCF Bank in Stadium Village, the new Green Line LRT between St. Paul and Minneapolis saw more than 1 million riders in September. Those numbersare almost as high as they were hoping for 16 years from now.

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According to Metro Transit, the overall ridership tally for the month was 1,063,512, which is 35 percent higher than the ridership projected for 2015.

“The excitement surrounding the Green Line has obviously lasted well beyond opening weekend and will continue to build as the corridor develops in the years ahead,” Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said.

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Metro Transit said that the East Bank Station has proven to be the Green Line’s most active stop in September, with an average of 4,655 weekday boardings. Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr said average weekly ridership on the Green Line in September was more than 37,000.  They’re projecting a goal of 41,000 by 2030.  Year-to-date ridership on all trains and buses is up nearly 3 percent from the same period last year.

Through September, there have been 3,477,945 rides on the Green Line, according to Metro Transit.

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