Mayor Rybak welcomes first Northstar commuter rail riders
Newest rail line connects downtown to the north metro
November 16, 2009 (MINNEAPOLIS) Armed with downtown walking maps and hometown hospitality, Mayor R.T. Rybak this morning welcomed the first Northstar commuter rail riders to downtown Minneapolis. Today is the first day of regular train service for the transit line running from Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids, and Fridley, into downtown Minneapolis.
"After more than a decade of hard work and perseverance, Minnesota’s first commuter rail line is on track with an easier way to travel to and work in Minneapolis," Mayor Rybak said. "It is clear from the excitement of these riders on the very first day that this is going to be another successful transit line and one that’s going to allow more people to come and experience everything that Minneapolis has to offer without a congested, stressful commute."
An estimated 3,400 commuters are expected to ride Northstar’s eighteen passenger cars each week. Five trips come into Minneapolis each morning and five trips leave Minneapolis each afternoon/evening, with one reverse commute trip each way. Three roundtrip rides will run on Saturdays and Sundays, with extra trips added for special occasions.
The $320 million cost of building the rail line is shared by the federal and state governments, the regional rail authorities of Hennepin, Anoka and Sherburne counties, the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Twins.
"A million more people are expected to move to our region over the next two decades," Mayor Rybak said. "Minnesotans need a transportation system that meets our needs today and in the future. That’s why we aren’t’ stopping now. Northstar is part of our vision for a more extensive and more effective transportation system that will get our state moving again."
"We’ve fought many political obstacles to get more and better transit in this state, but on days like today we’re reminded that it’s worth the effort and know that we can’t stop now," Rybak added.
Published Nov. 16, 2009