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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Metro Transit sets station opening, notches initial Northstar ridership

Tomorrow, Metro Transit plans to open a new station on the Hiawatha light-rail line in Bloomington, Minn., on 34th Avenue near Interstate 494. The $2.4 million American Boulevard Station will anchor a future transit-oriented development initiative in the city’s airport south district.

Construction on the city’s fourth light-rail station began in June 2009 and was financed by the Bloomington Port Authority, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority, Metropolitan Council and federal grants. The facility is the first Hiawatha station to feature a split-platform design.

Meanwhile, Metro Transit announced the Northstar commuter-rail line logged 33,112 riders last month during its first 15 days of service, including Thanksgiving weekend.

Daily ridership averaged 2,207; Metro Transit’s 2010 daily average goal is 2,460. Northstar offers five morning rush-hour trips to Minneapolis, five return trips in the afternoon and one reverse-commute trip on weekdays, and three roundtrips on weekends.

In addition, Metro Transit recently leased a locomotive from the Utah Transit Authority to serve as the sixth unit in the Northstar motive-power fleet.

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More News from 12/11/2009