Northstar rail adding weeknight, weekend serviceby Ambar Espinoza, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Cloud, Minn. — The Northstar commuter rail begins offering service to Twin games during weeknights, beginning Tuesday.
Northstar is serving 53 out of 81 Twins home games this year. Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons says that includes every game on weekends, and week nights in June, July and August.
"For May, Northstar served six Twins games and in June, Northstar will serve 10 Twins games," he said.
Gibbons says ridership will likely improve with this new night service, and changes Metro Transit made in April to the weekend schedules based on riders requests. He says Northstar ridership is meeting 98 percent of expectations.
Preliminary numbers show commuters took 65,000 trips in May. Ridership numbers were 49,304 trips in March and 61,560 trips in April.
Another addition to Northstar service will begin on June 12, when the commuter bus that takes Northstar riders from St. Cloud to Big Lake has added a stop in Becker and trips over the weekend.
Felix Schmiesing, Sherburne County commissioner and chair of the second phase of the project, says these additions to the Northstar Link service are a result of customer feedback.
"We've had a lot of requests for weekend service, for Twins service, and we found that there is a way that we can adjust our service schedule to accommodate what the riding public wants," he said.
Schmiesing says these new services fall within the Northstar Link's budget. He says the Northstar Corridor Development Authority wants to get as much value for every dollar it spends.