Streets MN: The Future of Northstar in a Post-Pandemic World

EXCERPT: “When the COVID-19 pandemic began, ridership of the Northstar Line commuter rail service between Minneapolis and Big Lake was decimated. Since then it has averaged between 100 and 300 weekday riders, making it one of the lowest performing commuter/regional rail routes in the country. Facing an uncertain future, the Metropolitan Council will be conducting a study on Northstar. While there’s a cost to improving Northstar, there’s also a cost to mothballing it; part of the funding received by the U.S. Department of Transportation to build Northstar would have to be returned ($85 million to be exact, according to this article). We would also continue our over-dependence on cars, roads, and auto-oriented sprawl, all of which damage our environment and contribute to climate change. Northstar could be an efficient, affordable, and convenient form of travel in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota that incentivizes compact transit-oriented development instead of suburban sprawl. That will take political will now and into the future.” FULL STORY: