Rally Urges Leaders to Extend Northstar Rail to St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD -- A rally was held Saturday to urge state leaders to "finish" the Northstar Rail transit line and extend it to St. Cloud.
The Northstar Rail currently runs from the Twin Cities to Big Lake, roughly 30 minutes away from the St. Cloud metro area.
A group of supporters carrying signs earned honks of approval from cars passing by as they marched from St. Augustine Church to the Metro Transit station in downtown St. Cloud.
"We want to finish what was originally planned and bring [the commuter rail] all the way to St. Cloud," says Reverend James Alberts II, who spoke at the rally.
"There's no question that it would do things for St. Cloud -- it will bring money here, it will bring vitality, it will encourage jobs -- it's creating a pipeline between the people of central Minnesota and jobs, culture and activities in the Twin Cities."
Alberts says extending the Northstar Rail to St. Cloud would also be significant because of the area's numerous colleges.
"By completing this, we'll have a seamless and direct route between resources (college graduates) and opportunities (jobs)," Alberts says.
With the rally, members of the Great River Interfaith Partnership (GRIP) and ISAIAH are engaging the community to show support this fall as they implore local and state leaders to bring the Northstar to St. Cloud.
"We're so close to this thing being done, we just want to make sure that we hold [decisionmakers'] feet to the fire," Alberts says. "We want to let them know that this is -- and will be -- improtant to us and we will see it done."
To date, the group has collected over 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for the extention of the commuter rail. You can get involved with the cause through social media by following @ISAIAHMN on Twitter and use the hash tag #FinishNorthstar.