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Metro Transit Reports High Ridership

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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By Holly Wagner, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New figures show the Northstar Commuter Rail isn’t getting nearly as many riders as expected, but overall more people are taking public transit as they head to and from work.

The number of people riding trains and buses went up 2.3 percent in the last year according to Metro Transit. It’s only the fourth time in 30 years where ridership has exceeded 78 million.

More and more people are using the Hiawatha Light Rail. Ridership increased 6 percent in 2010, the most in the line’s six-year history.

Northstar didn’t fare as well in its first full year of service. According to Metro Transit, the numbers for ridership came in 21 percent lower than expected.

They say the weak economy and the unemployment rate had an impact. Officials believe fewer people headed to jobs in downtown Minneapolis.

According to Metro Transit, the unemployment rate contributed to fewer people heading to jobs in downtown Minneapolis.

Metro Transit is expecting the number of people using public transportation to continue to go up especially with increase as gas prices and the sluggish economy.

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