The Northstar Commuter Rail Project and Metro Transit have launched a Web page that allows members of the public to enter a drawing for free train rides during Northstar Commuter Rail grand opening events on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009.
Public events will be held at each Northstar station from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis to mark Northstar’s grand opening. The events will include a program, transit information, family-friendly activities and a chance to ride Northstar trains from the suburban stations. More details about the events will be announced soon.
“Northstar supporters have anticipated the launch of commuter rail service for a long time and excitement for the state’s first commuter rail line is at an all-time high,” said Dan Erhart, chair of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority.
Through 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9, 2009, the public may enter a drawing for up to four tickets for Northstar’s grand opening rides by going to www.metrotransit.org/Northstar/tickets.asp or by leaving a voice mail message at 612-349-7479. More than 350 tickets will be awarded at each station outside of downtown Minneapolis to those who register. A limited number of additional tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis on Nov. 14 at the suburban stations. Space on the grand opening trains is limited and tickets are required to ride.
Free train rides will be available at the Fridley, Coon Rapids-Riverdale, Anoka, Elk River and Big Lake stations. Trains will travel non-stop from each station directly to downtown Minneapolis, where riders will have an opportunity to see the Target Field Station and the connection to the Hiawatha Light Rail Transit Line. Northstar trains will return directly to their originating stations a short time later.
Ticket recipients will be chosen randomly during the week of Oct. 12 and notified by email or phone with instructions on how to claim tickets.
No grand opening train rides will be available in downtown Minneapolis. However, grand opening participants who visit the Target Field Station will have an opportunity to tour a Northstar train. Minneapolis visitors also will have an opportunity to get a free ride coupon good for travel on Northstar at a future date to be specified.
Regular revenue service on Northstar Commuter Rail trains, as well as connecting service from St. Cloud to the Northstar station in Big Lake via the Northstar Link Commuter Coach, will begin the following Monday.
About the Northstar Commuter Rail Project
The Northstar Commuter Rail Line, operated by Metro Transit, will provide service starting Monday, Nov. 16, 2009 on the 40-mile segment of existing track along Highways 10 and 47 from Big Lake to downtown Minneapolis. Northstar trains will offer commuter service during prime morning and evening week day rush hours, as well as regular weekend service and some special event service.
The Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) is a joint powers board of 30 governmental entities representing counties, cities, townships and regional railroad authorities along the Northstar Corridor, which covers an 80-mile stretch from downtown Minneapolis to St. Cloud.
For more information about Northstar Commuter Rail service, go to www.metrotransit.org/northstar. For more information about the Northstar Link Commuter Coach, operated by St. Cloud Metro Bus, go to www.CatchTheLink.com.