Bicycles could give Northstar a kickstart

  • Article by: PAUL LEVY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2012 - 10:10 PM

The Minnesota Department of Transportation, National Park Service and local officials think bicyclists could add a new dimension to the line stretching from Minneapolis to Big Lake.

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elkriverscottAug. 5, 1211:51 AM

I'm still waiting for the day the actual cost per passenger is printed. Otherwise this is just another cheer leading article for the financial disaster that is light rail and the Northstar line. Pity no one is the least interested in who pays what. The riders don't put a dent in the cost. Pity. Still waiting for the article.

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bonikaAug. 5, 1212:17 PM

I too, would like to see the actual cost per rider published. If ridership is down, perhaps make ONE car per train exclusively for bikers and their bikes. It seems that would be best for the other passengers as well.

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jimh123456Aug. 5, 1212:32 PM

Interesting, but I don't actually know where the Mississippi River Trail is, or what it's like, or where, when, and how to get on the NorthStar to get to the trail, or what the schedule is, or what it costs, or way to find the answers to all these questions. To really make something like this happen takes more than a brief mention in the Star Tribune. But there are new technologies like "web pages" and "links" that could be useful here.

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garagewineAug. 5, 12 1:10 PM

Wow, and I thought they were getting desperate when they lowered the fares. FYI, the operating cost per passenger is about $22.

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poulidorAug. 5, 12 1:18 PM

I agree that more detail about the Mississippi River Trail would have been welcome. If MNDoT wants to increase the number of cyclists using the Northstar line, they'll really need to do something about the spaces they've created on the trains for bikes. The current design is really difficult to figure out and even harder to use. Also, one bike always blocks the other, meaning that if the person who owns the bike closest to the wall wants to detrain, the other cyclist has to go through the whole irritating procedure an extra time in order to let him or her out. The bike spots on the Hiawatha line, on the other hand, are smartly designed and easy to use. These should be replicated on the Northstar line, if possible.

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tapedeckAug. 5, 12 5:09 PM

I'll pay $22 per train ride when the car drivers pay me $100 per day to compensate for all of the negative effects of their pollution.

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teddygAug. 5, 12 7:47 PM

If MnDOT was really interested in rail transit, they find a way to run a weekend excursion to Duluth or down to Winona. Those are class 1 track. But apparently not good enough for MnDot. They'd want to spend a billion to upgrade.

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FrankLAug. 5, 12 9:51 PM

I have a hard time believing there are many students commuting from the TC to St Cloud St. Lets see some real numbers. I'm sure the school administrators would have a close estimate.

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commonrobAug. 6, 12 7:31 AM

This is just another attempt to come up with an idea from folks who no nothing about what they are doing and this big guessing game comes at a great cost to the taxpayers of this state who really deserve much better. We all knew this train would not work and so did the folks pushing for it and now it is here at the cost of almost a billion dollars and we will throw more money at someting that will not EVER hold it's own. The love the part in the article that states we envision, just another uneducated guess and we out here PAY!

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jalcmlAug. 6, 12 4:17 PM

I ride the Northstar every day and have a couple of suggestions: 1. Why not partner with the Nice Ride system and provide bike stations at each train stop? Of course you would need to reduce the price of the bike rentals dramatically (or better yet free for paid commuters). And why is there not a bike station at Target Field today? That doesn't make any sense. 2. Add wireless internet to the trains. That would be a huge incentive for people like me who have to pay extra on my cell plan to make my phone a hot spot. 3. Make one of the cars a beverage car. There are many of us who would appreciate a cold beverage after a hard day's work. No one would be able to abuse the right since the ride only lasts 45 mins anyway and it would help fund the system.

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