Northstar Won’t Extend To St. Cloud, For Now
ST. CLOUD — St. Cloud will not be seeing the Northstar Commuter Rail in the near future.
The Northstar Corridor Development Authority has decided to put the Northstar Commuter Rail extension to St. Cloud on hold. They did not specify when they will look into the matter again.
Officials decided the extension couldn’t compete for federal funding. They cite less-than-robust ridership numbers for the Northstar rail line and the Link commuter bus to St. Cloud.
The NCDA and St. Cloud Metro Bus will continue the bus service connection to the Northstar Link. The Link provides a bus connection between St. Cloud and the train station in Big Lake. Also, Metrobus provides a new Friday midday round trip between St. Cloud and Minneapolis, with stops in between.
The 40-mile line between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis opened last November. Northstar has been struggling to meet ridership goals, due to the recession, high unemployment and lower gas prices.