Northstar ridership down this year

  • Article by: TIM HARLOW , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 26, 2012 - 9:15 PM

But new Ramsey station, lower fares help stem losses.

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dflleftNov. 26, 12 9:24 PM

THE COST TO operate the trains is about $24 per passenger but the passenger pays only $6-$7 with the taxpayer picking up the balance....isn't DFL economics fun?

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jojoobooNov. 26, 12 9:38 PM

Just because 300 people boarded at Ramsey doesn't mean ridership increased that much. Many of those people could have previously boarded in Elk River or Coon Rapids.

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bigbadbeanNov. 26, 12 9:41 PM

If lowering the fares did not increase ridership we should increase the fares. If people are not going to ride at X they are not going to ride at Y so who cares. The choo choos will never break even anyway, but as long as so many don't pay taxes anyway it matters naught.

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jbpaperNov. 26, 12 9:42 PM

Sorry Mr Harlow, but what a lousy story. A lot of details are missing. After the fare drop, what was the forecast for the number of riders? You said it appears to have "stemmed" the decline, does that mean there's an increase or just less of a decline? Is it still lower than last years? I get weary when they use percentages since when the numbers are low, it doesn't take much to change the percentage (if you only start out with 10, it only takes one to get a 10% increase).

With the new Ramsey station opening, did ridership drop at the other stations? In other words, are these new riders or just a shift from one station to another?

Of course, the biggest question is when is the metro transit going to realize this thing is a complete failure and should be shut down?

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wileyrulesNov. 26, 12 9:42 PM

Extend it to St Cloud and people will ride it.

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skipperdlsNov. 26, 1210:13 PM

This loser is the Twins' fault?

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teddygNov. 26, 1210:53 PM

Unbelievable that they are blaming reduced ridership on a poor performing sports team. There is obviously no business case to be made for this line. Cut losses. Shut 'er down you fools.

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vikesrulebroNov. 26, 1210:57 PM

I used to think Northstar was a good idea. To me, however, it suffers from being too slow to be a useful alternative to driving. It also stinks because of the gap between when the into the city routes end and the out of the city routes begin each day. Furthermore, if the real concern was creating a smaller carbon footprint, the powers that be could have purchased electric buses and built dedicated bus lanes on the highways. If the powers that be simply wanted a more cost effective and efficient way to move people, they have failed miserably. In response to the St Cloud thing: I'm not sure the good people of St. Cloud would really want to sit on a train for four hours a day. It really is too slow. Make it faster on a dedicated line (ie: do it right), or scrap this over-subsidized disaster.

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garagewineNov. 26, 1211:41 PM

"THE COST TO operate the trains is about $24 per passenger but the passenger pays only $6-$7..."---Actually, it's worse. Metro Transit only gets a little under $4 per passenger in revenue. This might be even lower with the fares reduced.

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antisuburbsNov. 26, 1211:41 PM

commuter rail is a deep step into public transit to be taking right away. We should have started with streetcars and light rail, then moved on to stuff like this.

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