As backers of the Northstar commuter rail line marked its second anniversary last week, they were laying the groundwork to pick up another 200 passengers a day at a new station in Ramsey.
Local officials rode a special train to the site of the planned $13.2 million station, which will be the commuter line's seventh station. It's been approved by the Counties Transit Improvement Board and is scheduled to open in a year.
The 200 additional customers it will bring daily amount to nearly a 10 percent increase in Northstar ridership. The line now attracts 2,400-2,600 riders a day, or more than 600,000 this year through Oct. 31 -- down 2 percent from the same period last year. Weekday ridership was up but special events ridership was down.
The Ramsey Station will be a link in the regional network that will get riders from Sherburne and Anoka counties to downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, the airport, the State Capitol and downtown St. Paul.