The Basics

Here are a few essentials you need to know now that
you’ve arrived.
Hiawatha Light Rail

Photo by Metro Transit

A Good Start

Let There be Light: Xcel Energy is the state’s source for electricity. To set up your account and get started, call 800-895-4999 or visit

Heat Waves: For a natural gas hookup, call CenterPoint Energy at 800-245-2377 or visit

Stay Connected: Contact CenturyLink to set up a land line, 800-475-7526,

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Allied Waste ( and Waste Management ( are two of the largest trash and recycling collectors in the Twin Cities. Allied Waste (North Metro), 952-941-5174; Allied Waste (East Metro), 651-455-8634. Waste Management (Metro), 952-890-1100. Check local listings for other providers
in your area.

Register to Vote: To register to vote, visit to download a voter registration form and find your polling place. You can also register when you apply for a Minnesota driver’s license or at your polling place on the day of an election.

Finding Your Way

By Car: To apply for a Minnesota driver’s license, head to your local DMV. Visit to find the location nearest you. When driving around the Twin Cities, the major north-south route through the area is Interstate 35, which divides into I-35W bisecting Minneapolis and I-35E through St. Paul. Interstate 94 goes east-west through both cities. A beltway circles the Twin Cities, with Interstate 494 looping through the southern suburbs and Interstate 694 cutting through the north.

By Bus: More than 800 buses travel more than 100 bus routes around the Twin Cities. Bus fares run from $1.75 to $3 with day, monthly, and stored value passes available. For more information or to map out your own bus trip, contact Metro Transit at 612-373-3333 or visit

By Light Rail: The Hiawatha Light Rail runs from downtown Minneapolis to Mall of America. To make for easy commutes, three Park & Ride lots are located at the 28th Avenue, Fort Snelling and Lake Street stations and offer a combined total of more than 2,800 parking spots. Fares range from $1.75 to $2.25 with rides in the downtown zone costing 50 cents. For more information contact Metro Transit at 612-373-3333 or visit

By Taxi: More often than not, you’ll need to call ahead to catch a cab. Airport & Town Taxi, 612-721-0000 (Minneapolis), 612-222-0000 (St. Paul); Blue & White Taxi, 612-333-3333; Suburban Taxi, 612-522-2222 (Minneapolis), 651-222-2222 (St. Paul); St. Paul Yellow Taxi, 651-222-4433; City Wide Cab Co., 651-489-1111; Yellow Cab, 612-788-8888 (Minneapolis), 651-222-4044 (St. Paul).

Read All About It

Extra, Extra: We have two competing newspapers in the Twin Cities: the Minneapolis Star Tribune (800-775-4344 or and the St. Paul Pioneer Press (800-952-9080 or City Pages is a free news and arts weekly available around town ( Minnesota Monthly, a lifestyle magazine, can be found on newsstands (800-933-4398,

Tune In: Looking for your favorite show but can’t find the right channel? Here’s a handy guide: PBS (channel 2), CBS (channel 4), ABC (channel 5), The CW (channel 8), FOX (channel 9), and NBC (channel 11). 

On the Dial: Minnesota Public Radio offers news on KNOW 91.1 FM, classical music on KSJN 99.5 FM and a varied playlist on The Current 89.3 FM ( You can also dial up news on WCCO 830 AM (, news and sports on ESPN 1500 AM (, sports radio on KFAN 1130 AM (, and Minnesota Twins radio on KTWIN 96.3 FM ( Other options include popular music and light alternative tunes on Cities 97.1 FM ( and KS95 94.5 FM (, top 40 on KDWB 101.3 FM (, hard rock on 93X 93.7 FM ( and country on K102 102.1 FM ( and the new BUZN 102.9 FM ( Classic rock and oldies options include 92 KQRS 92.5 FM ( and KOOL 108 107.9 FM ( You can also listen to all of these stations online.

Go Digital, Get Online: For digital television and Internet, CenturyLink (800-366-8201, and Comcast/Xfinity (800-COMCAST, For television, DIRECTV (888-777-2454, or Dish Network (888-825-2557, For Internet, EarthLink (866-383-3080, Minneapolis’ citywide wireless Internet service is growing and St. Paul has plans to go wireless in the near future too, plus many coffee shops, libraries, hotels and other spots are wireless already.

Welcome Weekend

Morning Jolt: Need a pick-me-up during your first weekend in town? Keep your eye out for homegrown and chain favorites like Caribou Coffee, Starbucks, Dunn Bros. Coffee, Espresso Royale or any number of unique coffee and tea houses around.

Pizza Pie: If you want to grab a slice after a long day of unpacking, there are plenty of choices. The Twin Cities is home to the typical chains like Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, Papa Murphy’s and Domino’s, but also check local listings for even tastier options for carry-out or delivery: Davanni’s Pizza & Hot Hoagies, Pizza Lucé, Punch Pizza, Green Mill and Old Chicago should satisfy a late-night craving or two.

Provisions Shopping: Cub Foods and Rainbow Foods are two competing chains that dominate the market with reasonably priced groceries in a warehouse setting. For a more upscale grocery shopping experience, head to Byerly’s or Lunds, where quality is emphasized over price. Organic and natural foods can be found at the major chains and smaller markets alike, or at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market and independent stores like Kowalski’s located throughout the Twin Cities.