Northstar ridership below Metro Transit goals

  • Article by: BOB VON STERNBERG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 10, 2009 - 11:54 PM

Still, Metro Transit calls debut "very positive."

Ridership on the fledgling Northstar commuter train is running slightly behind Metro Transit's weekly goals, but officials nonetheless called it "a very positive" debut.

During the train's first 15 days of operation last month, it averaged 2,207 passengers a day, compared with a 2010 daily average goal of about 2,460.

"While it is too early to make sweeping statements, these early ridership results indicate to us a very positive response to the state's newest transportation option," Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb said in a prepared statement.

Lamb also said that regular ridership patterns will not emerge until next year and that the November results included a long holiday weekend when many commuters stayed home.

During its first 15 days of operation, the train carried 33,112 passengers.

The train operates between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis.

Metro Transit, which suffered its first engine breakdown Sunday, also announced that it has leased an engine from the Utah Transit Authority. The engine, the sixth in the Northstar fleet, is en route to the line's Big Lake maintenance base.

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