Transit officials say surveys show that fares and the lack of off-peak service are cited as reasons for not riding the Northstar.
"We've had many surveys coming back that the fares are just too high," [Metro Transit Deputy Chief Operating Officer for Commuter and Light Rail Ed] Byers said.
Passengers pay $7 to ride the 40 miles from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis.
That fare will drop to $6 under the new pricing formula. Fares from Anoka or Coon Rapids-Riverdale to downtown will be cut from $4 to $3.
[University of Minnesota professor David] Levinson is skeptical it will pay off.
"They're hoping to use this to give people a taste who might otherwise not have tried it," he said. "I just don't think there's a large market out there of people who would ride the Northstar line ... for a $1 fare drop."
The gamble Northstar's operators are taking in Fridley is less than that dollar bet: Fares here will drop by 25 cents under the plan for rush-hour rides.
Metro Transit spokesperson John Siqveland said by email Friday that the Met Council approved the rate changes unananimously last week. They go into effect Aug. 1.