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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Support for Minneapolis-St. Cloud commuter rail continues to mount, survey says


The proposed Minneapolis-St. Cloud, Minn., Northstar commuter rail corridor continues to garner support, according to a survey released June 11 by Anoka County Regional Railroad Authority.

Six hundred randomly selected households within a five-mile radius of the proposed Northstar commuter rail line were interviewed by telephone between May 18 and 24. Among the survey's findings:

• 80 percent of the respondents believe the proposed project was a "`good" or "very good idea"; 6 percent believe it is a "very bad idea";

• 76 percent believe highway congestion in the area has gotten worse;

• 67 percent believe highway and transit improvements are necessary to ensure the system could handle future needs;

• 70 percent said they likely would use Northstar commuter rail; and

• 39 percent would use Northstar on weekends.

"The survey shows residents of the Northstar Corridor are unhappy with congestion as it gets worse, and that they know what Northstar commuter rail is," said Betsy Wergin, Northstar Corridor Development Authority's (NCDA) chair, in a prepared statement.

An 80-mile stretch along highways 10 and 47, the Northstar Corridor is Minnesota's fastest-growing area, according to NCDA, a joint powers board of 30 counties, cities, townships and regional railroad authorities along the corridor.