With the new station in the city of Ramsey continuing to exceed initial projections of 100 riders per day, the Northstar commuter rail line has experienced a spike in ridership. The 41-mile line runs between Minneapolis and Big Lake, in Sherburne County.
In February, ridership overall along the seven-station line was 52,874. That was 6,369 more rides than in February 2012, a 13.7 percent increase. Ridership has been particularly impressive on poor-weather days, said John Siqveland, spokesman for Metro Transit, the agency that runs Northstar.
The Ramsey station, which opened in November, isn’t the only reason for the increase. Ridership has grown since Aug. 1, when weekday fares were reduced by $1 in an effort to attract passengers. Average weekly ridership has risen 11 percent overall since then and is up 7 percent over pre-fare-reduction projections.
In addition to Big Lake, Ramsey and Minneapolis, Northstar has stations in Fridley, Coon Rapids, Anoka and Elk River.