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Met Council Mulls 25-cent Fare Cut at Fridley Northstar Station

Fare would drop from $3.25 to $3 on weekdays starting Aug. 1.

Weekday fares would drop by $1 at all Northstar Commuter Rail stations except Fridley's, under a plan that the Metropolitan Council's Transportation Committee is considering Monday.

Fares for Fridley riders would drop 25 cents. All weekend/non-rush-hour fares would stay the same.

The fare change, as reported in the Star Tribune, would be temporary, running from Aug. 1, 2012, to April 30, 2013. If the committee approves it Monday, the full Met Council would vote on the play July 27.

The plan provides "pricing flexibility in a time of economic recovery and encourages customer integration to public transportation," according to a Met Council memo (see PDF). "Our surveys of non-Northstar riders living within the Northstar Corridor shows that a prime factor in the decision to not ride commuter rail is the established fare set."

Ridership for the year as of May is 7.25 percent less than budgeted, according to the memo. Northstar ridership dropped in 2011 to 703,427 from 710, 426 in 2010—.

A primary reason Metro Transit cited for Northstar's ridership slump in 2011: the freight-train derailment in Fridley that shut the line for four days in July.

Fridley Station is the closest to the line's southern terminus in downtown Minneapolis and sees the fewest riders of the five stations on the Northstar route, including Coon Rapids, Anoka, Elk River and Big Lake. (A is in the works.) In February, MPR reported that Fridley Station's 668 parking spaces only had 29 regular park-and-ride users.

Fridley-only Bus Too
The proposed 25-cent fare decrease wouldn't be the only transit program or policy that only applies to Fridley.

In February, Metro Transit announced the start of a , circulating along a route with major employers such as Medtronic and Unity Hospital, and connecting to Northstar trains. In April, the rather than clockwise route in both mornings and afternoons.

Ron Stoffel June 09, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Riders should Be the FULL COST of a ride!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Pam Reynolds June 10, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Raising the taxpayer subsidy to $21.25 per ride. Last year, as part of a personal research project, I went to the parking lot on the east side of the station. I logged 14 cars for the time period of 5 a.m. to 4 p.m. I asked the occupants if they were taking the train. My results were as follows: 4 taking the train; 6 parking there and catching the Express bus; 2 meeting their carpool ride; 1 parking and walking to Fridley High School and 1 who gave no comment, got in her car and drove away. Although not a scientific study neither are the numbers tossed around by the Met Council. The Met Council "doctors" its numbers to indicate success of a failure!

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