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For my inaugural post in the Trains category:

Pioneer Press | 04/21/2003 | COMMUTER RAIL: Crucial test for Northstar

Supporters have been making the same arguments as Cassady for years, but recently employed a respected economist who determined commuter rail was the best option for dealing with congestion along U.S. 10 and Interstate 94. Commuter rail would carry 5,000 people daily, equivalent to about 1? lanes of traffic. Building and running commuter rail would cost $502 million over 15 years, while the cost to build and maintain another lane to St. Cloud exceeds $1 billion.

I am hopeful about this commuter rail line, but we will need to convince short-sighted people (like our current Govenor) that rail is an essential component for solving traffic problems.

I’m not sure how people so completely lacking vision get into office:

“Invest in roadways everyone can use 24 hours a day rather than commuter rail that would operate limited hours a day,” said Mayor Gary Kirkeide.

Hey Gary, the traffic at 3am isn’t really the problem, is it? More like the gridlock at 6pm. The line, at it’s initial service estimate, would carry 5,000 people daily, which is equivalent to adding one and a half lanes of traffic. So what is more cost effective? Adding more lanes that are only needed for a few hours a day. Or adding commuter rail that is only utilized when it is needed?

Categories: Trains.