The future of the Elk River-Polaris Commuter Rail Line will be a topic of discussion when county commissioners along the railroad meet with state transportation officials in December.
Sherburn County Commissioner Felix Schmiesing stated that the number of passengers has never reached expectations over the years. He said it was time to review subsidized railway lines from scratch.
The Commissioner of Palmer Township admitted that being a staunch supporter of Northstar from the very beginning is difficult to follow this path. But, in the end, Schmiesing said that they must be good stewards of the people’s taxation...
Is this a continuous use of taxpayer funds? I know you will hear one thing from some people (it will be) that involves too much federal and state funding. However, this is all taxpayer's money.
Schmising said the meeting with state transportation officials was to put everything on the table. He said that after hearing that the number of passengers dropped sharply during the COVID-19 pandemic, his colleagues at the Sherborne County Board of Directors wanted to hold a meeting...
It apparently never achieved the goal we were told it would achieve. So, of course we encountered obstacles, including financial problems in 2008 and 2009 and so on. Then, of course, COVID has indeed caused serious problems for passengers and has actually changed the way many people work.
The Northstar commuter rail line has been in operation since 2009. Schmiesing said that many challenges have been encountered in the process, making people question whether the train should continue to run.
The commuter rail line runs between Great Lakes and Minneapolis. I have been working hard for many years to get the train to St. Cloud, but Schmising never believed that this would solve the problem of low passenger flow.
Saint Cloud commuters are currently served by Northstar Link. It is a commuter bus that connects people from the southeast of St. Cloud to the Great Lakes train station.