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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Hiawatha ridership still rising in Minneapolis

Minneapolis’ Hiawatha light-rail line continues to exceed ridership expectations. During its third full month of operation, the line’s ridership totaled 424,000 passengers — an 87 percent increase compared with a projected 227,200 passengers.

During September, weekday ridership averaged 14,200 trips, and Saturday and Sunday ridership averaged 14,100 and 14,000 trips, respectively. Between July and September, ridership totaled about 1.4 million — 96 percent higher than expected.

Operator Metro Transit plans to open the remainder of the line in early December. Early testing on the five-mile southern section of the line is under way. The five-station second phase will extend service to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Bloomington and the Mall of America.

In late June, Metro Transit opened Hiawatha’s eight-mile, 12-station first phase, providing service between downtown Minneapolis and Fort Snelling.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/11/2004