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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Minneapolis' Hiawatha ridership still on the rise

Minneapolis’ Hiawatha light-rail line continues to exceed initial ridership projections. After opening the line’s second phase in early December, operator Metro Transit recorded 512,800 light-rail trips. An additional 87,500 free rides were provided during the weekend of Dec. 4, when the agency celebrated its new service to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, Bloomington and the Mall of America.

December weekday ridership averaged 19,200 passengers; agency officials didn’t expect to reach that average until mid-2005.

Since the first phase of the 12-mile, 17-station line opened in late June, 2.9 million passengers have used the service — 106 percent more than originally projected.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2005