The commuter-rail ticket prices may be temporarily lowered by as much as $1 on weekdays, pending a Met Council vote.
Northstar commuter-rail ticket prices could be temporarily reduced by as much as $1 on weekdays, pending a vote by the Metropolitan Council later this month.
The council is being asked to consider lowering fares in an effort to boost ridership, according to a memo verified by Metro Transit officials Friday. Ridership during the first five months of 2012 was 7.25 percent below budget, according to the memo.
"Our surveys of non-Northstar riders living within the Northstar Corridor shows that a prime factor in the decision to not ride the commuter rail is the established fare," the memo states.
The current one-way fare from Big Lake, the farthest point west on the line, to the Target Field station in downtown Minneapolis is $7. The proposed fare would be $6. The fares from Elk River, Anoka and Coon Rapids would also be reduced by $1. The fare from Fridley to Minneapolis would be reduced by 25 cents, from $3.25 to $3.
The temporary fares would run from Aug. 1 through April 30, 2013, said transit spokesman Bruce Howard.
The Metro transit committee will discuss the matter Monday. A vote by the Metropolitan Council will take place June 27.
The 41-mile Northstar line opened in November 2009. In addition to the six current stations, a station will open in Ramsey this fall.
Ridership on the line was 710,426 in 2010 and 703,427 in 2011, the memo said. The budgeted ridership for 2012 is 765,000.