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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Minneapolis light-rail line well-received during service's first week

During its first week of revenue operation June 28-July 4, Metro Transit’s Hiawatha light-rail line carried 93,000 passengers — 68 percent more than the 55,400 passengers officials expect to use the service weekly through 2004.

Although preliminary ridership reports for the downtown Minneapolis line are encouraging, it’s too premature to predict long-term ridership, said Metro Transit Acting General Manager Mark Fuhrmann in a prepared statement.

Ridership was bolstered by fans who rode trains to a well-attended three-game series between the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox.

The ridership figure is based on a sampling of 30 percent of trips taken during the week. Staff members counted the number of passengers boarding certain trains at each station.

Metro Transit plans to release another ridership report in early August after the Hiawatha line marks its first month of service.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 7/8/2004