The new light rail line connecting downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis will open for riders on June 14.

The new light rail line connecting downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis will open for riders on June 14.

The Metropolitan Council announced the opening date Wednesday. The Central Corridor route, or Green Line, originates at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul and runs through the State Capitol complex before traveling west to the University of Minnesota campus. It links up with the existing Hiawatha route, or Blue Line, on the east side of downtown Minneapolis.

The nearly $1 billion project came in on budget. The federal government is covering half the costs.

A public ceremony is planned for the Saturday grand opening, as well as celebrations at several stops along the line. Rides on the both light rail lines along with metro buses will be free that first weekend.