Northstar rail is a failed experiment

  • Article by: ANNETTE MEEKS
  • Updated: October 14, 2012 - 6:02 PM

At a minimum, end weekend service and redirect the money.

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liora51Oct. 14, 12 6:13 PM

The rail is not a failed experiment. It is just the first phase of a multi-phased investment to provide safe, fast and affordable transportation. Ms. Meeks has opposed it from the beginning and is claiming she told us so prematurely.

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livefreeordOct. 14, 12 6:16 PM

Well said and absolutely right. Light and commuter rail lines only serve those who ride them. They don't support police or fire service. They don't support the transportation of goods or services. They are not a public good. It's bad enough that this failed line cost us $317,000,000 that could have been much better used by staying in the taxpayers pockets. Now the politicians continue to throw $1,000,000 each month at it. As the riders are the only ones who benefit, they should at least pay the full cost of operations and maintenance. If not - shut it down. I think it's a fair standard that should apply to all mass transit. Fares should at a minimum cover the cost of operation and maintenance.

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wa0tdaOct. 14, 12 6:17 PM

Nice to see Annette take a break from climate change denial to trash public transportation. Low-information readers need a change of pace.

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codger1016Oct. 14, 12 6:31 PM

Conservatives got the line to go only to Big Lake instead of St. Cloud. Had it gone to St. Cloud, it would have had much more ridership. Not sure it would have been profitable, but then, I don't think commuter rail needs to be profitable, as long as it doesn't bleed money.

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jekhomeOct. 14, 12 6:36 PM

to livefree: If we shut down money for public transportation, let's also quit spending money on roads and bridges. Only drivers benefit from those. Let's cut out money to public libraries--only people who use them benefit from those. How about public schools -- only families with children benefit from those. In fact, let's just all fend for ourselves and forget trying to live together in community at all. Community sounds like communism--must be a foreign plot!!

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bartel81Oct. 14, 12 6:39 PM

As an Anoka County resident and a regular train user, I respect Ms. Meeks right to an opinion. even when it's wrong. I would invite Ms. Meeks to ride the train in from Big Lake or Elk River on a snowy morning when Highway 10 is a parking lot, or from 6:30 to 7:30 every morning, when chunks of Highway 10 and 252 are parking lots. Were there mistakes made when they designed the Northstar - yes (I still don't understand the Fridley station). But as part of a long term transportation solution and an economic growth engine for Anoka County, it makes sense. Ms. Meeks, if you choose to continue with your current line of thinking, I will enjoy reading your opinion column advocating tolls on I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul to cover the cost of construction and maintenance of our very expensive highway system.

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furguson11Oct. 14, 12 6:40 PM

"I have to admit I was very skeptical about spending precious transit resources to test commuter rail in the Twin Cities. And now, after nearly three full years of Northstar service, it appears that the skeptics were right" Is this a round-about way of saying", I was right, niener, niener"?

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mrmoose9Oct. 14, 12 6:41 PM

No one ever refers to a road as "losing money" yet with the exception of toll roads, all roads lose money. To fairly compare the cost of rail to the cost of roads, you need to consider all of the construction and maintenance costs, as well as the cost of auto accidents. I wonder if rail fares as poorly when you consider all of the costs.

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sharkysharkOct. 14, 12 6:41 PM

It's both ridiculous and unfair to the vast majority of taxpayers to waste money subsidizing a few people's ride to work or a ballgame. There's no reason for us to pay for someone's poor choice of where to live or work. We need the money for other things first.

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stairwayOct. 14, 12 6:49 PM

i wish the gov. would buy the airlines and the tickets would be about $20.

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