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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Minneapolis' Hiawatha line continues to exceed ridership expectations

During its second full month of operation, Minneapolis’ Hiawatha light-rail line carried more than double the number of passengers projected by operator Metro Transit.

In August, 476,800 passengers rode trains compared with a target of 236,700.

Weekday ridership averaged 16,700 trips — a 76 percent increase compared with the goal of 9,500 trips. Saturday and Sunday ridership averaged 15,000 passengers and 9,800 passengers compared with a projected 4,300 and 2,100 passengers, respectively. August ridership was bolstered by two Minnesota Vikings pre-season games and 15 Minnesota Twins games, according to a prepared statement.

In late June, Metro Transit opened the $715.3 million Hiawatha line, comprising an eight-mile, 12-station portion between Minneapolis and Fort Snelling. In December, the remainder of the 12-mile, 17-station alignment will open, including stops at the airport, Bloomington and the Mall of America.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/17/2004