Hiawatha ridership gets boost from airport, mall extension

Posted on December 13, 2004

Ridership on Minneapolis' Hiawatha light rail line increased by approximately 45,000 after the line extended train service to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. The line opened the extension on Dec. 4. In November, the average weekly ridership was 90,600. The extension, four miles of track and five new stations, was added to the Hiawatha line 27 days ahead of schedule. The complete line spans 12 miles and serves 17 stations. "The strong initial response of customers is heartening," said Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb. "With the rail extension, we continue to observe robust rush-hour ridership among commuters to downtown Minneapolis, with more than 400 cars parked daily at the new 28th Avenue Station." For the five full months of partial Hiawatha rail operations, 2.2 million riders boarded trains, 91% more than forecast. Metro Transit said rail ridership during the morning rush-hour period has grown each month, with November showing a 34% increase over July.

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