August 28, 2009

Fares established for Northstar rail system

The Metropolitan Council established fares for the 40-mile Northstar Line, Minneapolis' first commuter rail line, set to begin operation late this year.

The fares are based on distance between each station and downtown Minneapolis and range from $3.25 to $7, with some fares expected to increase at or within 12 months. For customers not traveling downtown, the one-way fare between stations is $3.25.

"We are very excited about the coming launch of this service," said Council Chair Peter Bell. "We're testing the vehicles. We think the public will be pleased with the quality of the railcars, as well as the speed and reliability of the service. And, now we have a fare structure in place that takes into account the trip distance and the value of this premium service, while also providing a cost-effective trip for riders in the Highway 10 corridor."

Northstar is the region's first commuter-rail line and is expected to carry 3,400 riders each weekday during its first year of operation. As the service and market matures, ridership is expected to grow to 4,100 weekday rides.

Metro Transit will manage Northstar operations and maintain the locomotives, passenger cars and stations. Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway will provide train crews and dispatch service because Northstar will use the railway's track.

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