Transport in Minneapolis is efficient and simple, with a good bus system and new light rail, but it is still limited for those living outside of the city centre. New arrivals planning to live on the outskirts of the city will most likely need a car.
Public transport in Minneapolis is managed by Metro Transit, which maintains an integrated network of buses, light rail and commuter trains for getting around Minneapolis.
Public transport in Minneapolis
Metro Transit operates an extensive network of buses in Minneapolis, St Paul and the Twin Cities metro area.
Commuters can pay for their ticket with cash as they enter the bus; change is not available so the exact amount is required. Frequent travellers should get a Go-To Card as it is much more convenient than paying cash. A handful of bus routes to and from the Minneapolis Convention Center in Downtown can be used at no cost.
Minneapolis has a light rail system run by Metro Transit. Although it is generally fast and efficient, it isn't as extensive as the bus network. There are currently two lines: the Blue Line and the Green Line.
The Northstar commuter railway line connects downtown Minneapolis with Big Lake. Tickets for the Northstar Line are available from ticket machines at each station and must be purchased before boarding.
Taxis in Minneapolis
Taxis can be hailed off the street in Downtown Minneapolis, or booked in advance. When travelling from the suburbs, for instance, a taxi would have to be ordered. Taxi fares are reasonable, and one could even save some money in comparison to driving one's own car, especially when considering the significant parking and maintenance costs associated with owning a vehicle in the city. Of course, this is only applicable for travelling short distances, as long commutes in taxis won't be financially viable in the long run.
Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft are also available in Minneapolis.
Driving in Minneapolis
Although Minneapolis has a sufficient inner-city transport network, anyone living further out will probably find it necessary to have a car.
The Twin Cities is known for having some of the most polite drivers in the US, so drivers need not worry about being the target of road rage or reckless driving. However, road conditions can be hazardous during winter due to snow and ice.
Those moving to Minneapolis will need to get a Minnesota driver's licence within 60 days of relocating. Depending on the country that the original licence was issued in, it may be possible to convert directly. Otherwise, getting a local licence might require written and practical testing.
Walking in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, particularly the city centre, is a exceedingly walkable city. The Minneapolis Skyway, a system of enclosed interconnected pedestrian walkways, links 80 city blocks over 11 miles (18km) of downtown Minneapolis. The walkways allow pedestrians to move easily between buildings, parking ramps and over streets in a climate-controlled environment, out of reach of the harsh winter conditions.
Cycling in Minneapolis
With a large network of on-street and off-street bikeways, Minneapolis has been ranked one of the most cycle-friendly cities in the US. A large-scale bike sharing system, Nice Ride Minnesota, has been successfully launched across Minneapolis and St Paul, and is a convenient way for those who don't own bicycles to get around.
►For an overview of life in the city, see Moving to Minneapolis
Are you an expat living in Minneapolis?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Minneapolis. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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