St. Cloud Airport Gets One of First and Last Grants Under FAA Subsidy Program Set to End
The St. Cloud Regional Airport is banking on a recently announced $750,000 federal grant to land an airline at the airport that’s been virtually deserted since Delta terminated service in and out of St. Cloud in late 2009.
St. Cloud Regional Airport (STC) touts lots of amenities on its website—a café, ATM, free wi-fi, free parking and a $5 million completely renovated terminal whose capacity went up dramatically from 30 to 200 travelers. There's also a new $750,000 passenger boarding bridge secured with federal stimulus funds to keep travelersout of the elements while catching a flight. One asset, however, the newly renovated airport notably lacks—commercial flights and passengers.
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.
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