Price Cut on Northstar Rail Line to Encourage Ridership MINNEAPOLIS, MN--It's going to be cheaper for you to ride the Northstar Rail Line during the week. Metro Transit is hoping discounting fares will get more people to ride. Most fares will drop one dollar, the fare from downtown Minneapolis to Big Lake that costs seven dollars now, will cost six dollars beginning Wednesday.
Reclining seats, reading lights, plug-ins for laptop computers and other amenities. No wonder a survey of Northstar passengers yielded a 94 percent satisfaction rating. However, those glowing responses came not from Northstar Commuter Rail passengers, but from riders on an earlier Northstar transit line—the far more efficient and cost effective Northstar Commuter Coach express busses that paved the way for today’s trains.
When the highly touted Northstar commuter rail line debuted with 20 percent fewer riders than supporters promised in its first year of service, transit officials promptly lowered expectations for year two. Metro Transit reduced the projected number of passengers from 897,000 in 2010 to 750,000 in 2011, anticipating about 16 percent fewer riders than predicted for the inaugural year. Read more...
The Anoka County Board of Commissioners announced last week that their 2012 budget would include a reduction of property taxes of $8.14 million, marking a 7.43 percent decrease from the previous year and the first time in 30 years that spending for the next fiscal year will be less than the current budget projections.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN--This lame duck session will be the last for outgoing 18-term Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-MN). But old habits die hard, including requesting tens of millions of dollars in earmarks in the omnibus appropriations bill before Congress.
FFM was featured in the segment that ran on KSTP-TV on the Northstar Commuter Rail line extension. As reported, the Phase II extension from Big Lake to St. Cloud has been placed on hold. (Watch the piece on KSTP.com)
Featuring: Northstar Commuter Rail runs operating deficit of $1 million per month, point-of-sale regulations in the Twin Cities, and FFM's new website.
The Northstar Commuter Rail line between Big Lake and Minneapolis has run up an operating deficit of more than $1 million per month so far this year, according to figures obtained by the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota.
Featuring: the Ramsey Town Center debacle, St. Anthony Village Watchdog keeping their school district accountable, green jobs, and personal responsibility and individual liberties!
Featuring: stimulus funded broadband in Anoka County, Tom Steward's Northstar Commuter Rail op-ed in MPR, and public employee compensation.
FFM's Tom Steward wrote a commentary piece for MPR on the proposed Northstar extension from Minneapolis to St. Cloud.
National Watchdog group Watchdog.org ran our piece: The Taxpayers' Missing Link?
Northstar Commuter Rail has been running from Big Lake to Downtown Minneapolis since November 2009. While ridership has been on par with projections by Metro Transit, taxpayers are still subsidizing $80 for every $15 round-trip ticket, according to a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota analysis. Yet Northstar officials and policymakers continue to push an extension of the line to St. Cloud, which would have a major impact on taxpayers.
Featuring: a statement from FFM CEO Annette Meeks, Rochester Watchdog Training 6/29, transit truths, and more!
KSTP's Tracking Your Money segment featured FFM analysis on Metro Transit's plan for a second back-up locomotive, or a back-up for the back-up.
Featuring: Northstar hoarders, the number of state employees making more than $100,000, FFM in the news, and more!
While the Northstar Commuter Rail line is meeting its start-up ridership goals so far, it may be an uphill climb to double monthly ridership by September as projected, even with passengers paying just a fraction of the heavily subsidized train’s true cost, according to a Freedom Foundation of Minnesota (FFM) analysis of the first 100 days of operation.
FFM's analysis of the first 100 days of the Northstar Commuter Rail was featured on national watchdog group Watchdog.org. The report uses public data to calculate the true cost of the commuter rail service and raises questions about if taxpayers are getting railroaded.
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