Added service, new fares

NORTHSTAR LINK COMMUTER BUS ADDS SERVICE, ADJUSTS FARES

ST. CLOUD (5/30/14) – Northstar Link commuter bus is adding service to meet all weekday Northstar Commuter Rail trains in Big Lake, starting June 2. Also, every Northstar Link bus trip will include stops at St. Cloud State University and the Metro Bus Transit Center in downtown St. Cloud, as well as the Link park and ride lots on Highway 10.

The changes were approved by the Northstar Corridor Development Authority in order to enhance service, according to Stearns County Commissioner Leigh Lenzmeier, chair of the NCDA.

“Every year since we opened in November 2009, we’ve seen tremendous ridership growth on the Link, and St. Cloud State has been one of the main ride generators,” Commissioner Lenzmeier said. “Adding two additional trips to Big Lake, with more frequent stops on the campus and downtown, will make it even easier to use transit.”

The new schedule will include meeting the earliest southbound train that arrives in downtown Minneapolis at 5:50 a.m.

A simplified fare structure for Northstar Link routes 887, 887T, 887V and special events also takes effect June 2. The new fare is $2 for travel between St. Cloud and Big Lake and $1 for travel between Becker and St. Cloud or Big Lake. A new $17 10-Ride pass and $70 31-Day pass is available.

Unaffected by this fare change is Route 887F, which provides Friday mid-day service between St. Cloud and Minneapolis serving all Northstar Stations, except Fridley. Route 887F remains $5.50 between St. Cloud and Minneapolis or $3.25 for station-to-station travel.

See new schedule

proposed new fares

 NORTHSTAR LINK SEEKS PUBLIC INPUT FOR PROPOSED FARES

ST. CLOUD – Northstar Link, a commuter bus service operated by Metro Bus on behalf of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority, is seeking public input on a proposed rate adjustment for the service.

“We are proposing to simplify fares by keeping them the same regardless of the time of day or direction of travel,” said Tom Cruikshank, Metro Bus Director of Planning and Marketing. “This would result in a fare equalization — reducing fares for some riders and slightly increasing for others.”

If approved, the fare change would take effect June 2. The public is invited to share feedback by May 16. Feedback may be shared via email, US Postal Mail or by phone: info@catchthelink.com, 665 Franklin Ave NE, St. Cloud MN 56304 or 877.LINK.010 (877-546-5010).

The proposed changes would affect fares for Northstar Link routes 887, 887T, 887V and any special event service. Route 887F, which provides Friday mid-day service between St. Cloud, Becker and Northstar Stations between Big Lake and Minneapolis, is unaffected by the proposed changes. Travel on 887F would remain $5.50 for full cash fare or $3.25 for station-to-station travel.

Northstar Link proposed fares effective 6/2/14

Twins

NORTHSTAR COMMUTER RAIL, LINK TO SERVE EVERY TWINS HOME GAME

Starting with the Home Opener April 7

 

ST. CLOUD –Northstar Commuter Bus will provide connecting service to the  Northstar Commuter Rail Line will provide service for all Twins baseball home games at Target Field.

Northstar Link bus service from St. Cloud or Becker is timed to connect with Northstar trains at Big Lake Station. After the game, at either the scheduled departure times, or thirty minutes after the end of the game, fans will be able to board the train to Big Lake and easily transfer to the connecting Northstar Link bus to complete the return trip to Becker or St. Cloud.

Bus rides cost between $1.25 and $1.75 one way and are paid for separately from the train ride.

Game schedules and train fare information are available at metrotransit.org/Twins. The MN Twins Northstar Link service is called route 887T. The 887T schedule is online at CatchTheLink.com and is available on Link buses and Northstar trains.

More people enjoying cost-savings, stress-free commute by catching Northstar Link

ST. CLOUD — For the fourth consecutive year, people hopped on board the Northstar Link Commuter Bus in record numbers to travel the Highway 10 corridor between St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Link ridership grew 9.4 percent in 2013, with a total ridership of 55,213.

The Northstar Link Commuter Bus provides daily service to the Northstar Commuter Rail line’s Big Lake Station and serves most rail trips. Northstar trains primarily serve weekday commuters.

Northstar trains also serve some special events and all home Twins and Vikings games. Again in 2014, all Twins home games will have Northstar Link and train service.

The number of Northstar train commuters also grew in 2013. Ridership reached 787,239 in 2013, a 12 percent increase. Last year’s ridership was the highest in the line’s four-year history.

The top reasons people use Northstar Link are cost savings, stress-free travel and convenience, according to Stearns County Commissioner Leigh Lenzmeier, chair of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority. The authority is the group that oversees the Link.

“A majority of customers ride more than one day a week, too, which is helping slow the growth of congestion on highways 10 and 94,” Commissioner Lenzmeier said.

The Northstar Link is a multi-purpose mode of transportation, serving not just commuters but sports fans and students.

“It’s not uncommon to have Sunday evening buses full of students headed back to St. Cloud State University,” Commissioner Lenzmeier said.

Northstar Link provides one trip each week that is not tied to the train schedule. Northstar Link makes it possible to work a half day or make a short, leisurely trip on Fridays. The Fabulous Friday midday bus service starts in St. Cloud at 10:15 a.m. and ends in Minneapolis at 12:45 p.m., with stops in between at

Becker and all Northstar train stations, except Fridley. The bus leaves downtown Minneapolis and heads north at 1 p.m., following the same route.

Information on schedules and fares, which range from $1.25 to $5.50 one way, can be found at www.CatchTheLink.com or by calling 877.LINK.010.

Northstar Christmas Eve and Day Schedules

ST. CLOUD —The Northstar Link route 887 will not operate on Christmas Day, Dec. 25 and New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2014. Northstar Link will run a modified schedule on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, in conjunction with Northstar rail service (see below). Northstar Link will operate its regular schedule on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31. Regular fares will apply. Complete schedule details are available at www.CatchTheLink.com for the bus and www.metrotransit.org/northstar for the train.

Northstar Link Special Holidazzle Schedule

ST. CLOUD —Northstar Link 887 will connect with special 888 Northstar train service on Saturdays, Nov. 30 – Dec. 21. A single ride may be purchased onboard for $1.75, the regular weekend rate. Families can save money with the Northstar Family Pass, which will be honored by Northstar Link for this special service.

Northstar Roundtrip Family Pass: Pay one low price and get round trip Northstar rides for 2 adults and up to three kids ages 6-17 (kids 5 and under ride free!). Family Passes may be purchased online at http://metrotransit.org/northstar-service-to-holidazzle.aspx. Print the pass and show it to the Northstar Link driver. Be sure to save your printout for the return trip.

 Northstar Link service schedule for Target Holidazzle Parade

Complete schedule details for the train are available at  www.metrotransit.org/northstar.

Friday after Thanksgiving Schedule

The Northstar Link route 887 will have no service on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, but will run a modified schedule on the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 29 (see below). Route 887F (Fabulous Friday) will run as regularly scheduled.  Weekend fares will apply for 887 service while normal fares apply for 887F service.  Complete schedule details are available at www.CatchTheLink.com for the bus and www.metrotransit.org/northstar for the train.

 

Friday after Thanksgiving schedule

More people commute by catching the Link, benefits include cost savings, stress-free ride

ST. CLOUD — People are hopping on board the Northstar Link Commuter Bus in record numbers to travel in the highway 10 corridor between St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Link ridership in September reached a new high, with more than 5,400 rides, an 18 percent increase over September 2012.

The Northstar Link Commuter Bus, which has stops between St. Cloud and Big Lake, coordinates with most Northstar Commuter Rail train arrivals and departures at the Big Lake Station seven days each week.  The train schedule primarily serves commuters during rush hours, and offers limited weekend service plus some special events, including Twins baseball and Vikings football games.

The number of commuters on the train also is growing.  September 2013 ridership was up about seven percent over September 2012.

The top three reasons people use Northstar Link are cost savings, stress-free travel, and convenience, according to Stearns County Commissioner Leigh Lenzmeier, chair of the Northstar Corridor Development Authority, which is the group that oversees the Link.

“I give some of the credit for the increased ridership to the efforts of the St. Cloud State Mass Communications students last year,” Commissioner Lenzmeier said. “As a class project, they helped build awareness on campus for the Link and train services. Now it’s common to have Sunday evening buses full of students headed back to SCSU.”

Commissioner Lenzmeier went on to say that the majority of riders use Link services more than one day a week, which he believes is helping to manage congestion on highways 10 and 94.

There is one weekday bus trip that isn’t tied to the train schedule.  Northstar Link makes it possible to work a half day or make a short, leisurely trip on Fridays.  The Fabulous Friday midday bus service starts in St. Cloud at 10:15 a.m. and ends in Minneapolis at 12:45 p.m., with stops in between at Becker and all Northstar train stations, except Fridley.  The bus leaves downtown Minneapolis and heads north at 1 p.m. with stops at all Northstar stations, except Fridley.

Average daily ridership on the Northstar Link surpassed 200 in September
Average daily ridership on the Northstar Link surpassed 200 in September. Ridership on the Northstar Link reached a record high in September, an 18 percent increase over September 2012 and more than an 100 percent increase over the first September in 2010.

 

 

 

Northstar Link to provide service to Saturday’s Twins game, time change

Northstar Link to provide service to Saturday’s Twins game, time change

ST. CLOUD — Northstar Link route 887T and Northstar Commuter Rail 888 will provide service to the 12:05 pm September 28 game vs the Indians. This game was originally scheduled for 3:10 pm .

 

Watch the time in later innings. Trains must leave at the posted times even if the game is delayed or goes into extra innings.

 

887T Service to September 9 Twins Makeup Game

Northstar Link to provide service to Twins makeup game Monday, September 9

ST. CLOUD — Northstar Link route 887T and Northstar Commuter Rail 888 will provide service to the 6:10 pm September 9 game vs the Angels. This game is a makeup of April 17, 2013. 887T fares apply.