Gains for Northstar ridership in 2013

Ridership on the Northstar Commuter Rail line grew 12.4 percent in 2013 compared with the year before, according to Metro Transit, which operates the service.

Customers boarded Northstar trains 787,239 times in 2013, the highest number in the line’s four-year history. That compares with 700,276 in 2012.

This overall increase is attributable to a fare reduction made permanent in April and the addition of a station in Ramsey in November 2012, according to John Siqveland, public relations manager, Metro Transit.

Average weekday ridership – the line’s primary commuter market – increased 17 percent, Siqveland said.

“Although trains served more special events than ever before, new weekday commuters drove the strong gains in Northstar ridership,” said Brian Lamb, Metro Transit general manager.

“The line’s weather-proof reliability, comfortable ride and new onboard Wi-Fi service offer an increasingly attractive package for work travelers.”

Northstar trains operate from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis, with stations en route in Elk River, Ramsey, Anoka, Coon Rapids and Fridley, primarily during weekday morning and evening rush hours.

Metro Transit is a service of the Metropolitan Council.

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