Reader Survey: What Would You Pay for Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Service?

On March 27, we posted about the numbers surrounding the proposed $600 million investment to bring Amtrak rail service along a corridor between Minneapolis and Duluth.

Many of you shared your stories of rail and bus travel, and many expressed a deep appreciation for the comfort and conveniences of travel by rail.

In an effort to learn more about our readers’ interest, I prepared a short, anonymous Google Form survey to collect (admittedly heavily skewed) data related to where people are going and how much they would be willing to pay for the Amtrak service.

Check out the short, anonymous survey here!

St. Paul Empire Builder

A GE Genesis in 40th-anniversary Phase I paint leads a stub Empire Builder out of St. Paul, Minnesota after floods suspended service west. (2011)

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7 Responses to Reader Survey: What Would You Pay for Minneapolis-Duluth Rail Service?

  1. Trademark April 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm #

    One thing that must be considered with Amtrak is their rates are not fixed. There are discounts for purchasing in advance and different levels of service similar to flights.

  2. Peter Engel April 2, 2019 at 2:58 pm #

    Wouldn’t the correct departure/arrival option be Saint Paul vs Minneapolis? Amtrak doesn’t stop in Minneapolis, it uses the St Paul Depot transit center. The lack of a Minneapolis departure may skew your response data.

    • Isaac Warner April 2, 2019 at 4:12 pm #

      The service to Duluth would depart from Target Field station, not Union Depot.

      It would be great to see trains make a stop at both and serve as a test run for a once talked about express route between both cities, with stops in the Midway, University of Minnesota, and NE.

    • Joey Senkyr
      Joey Senkyr April 2, 2019 at 4:13 pm #

      The proposed plan for the NLX service is for it to terminate at Target Field Station, not Union Depot.

      • Bill Lindeke
        Bill Lindeke April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am #

        Which sucks… At least have it make the 20 min. trip to STP.

  3. Joel Baird April 4, 2019 at 2:00 pm #

    Take $600,000,000 and divide that by the population of the Mpls./St. Paul Metro 3,600,618 and you get $166.64. Then divide that $166.64 by the Greyhound fare between Mpls and Duluth of $25 and you get 6.66 trips back and forth. Of course, we know not every man, woman, and child in the metro will take that trip. If they did then bus fares would certainly drop. …And we did not include the train ticket fares that would be collected or any budget overages that may occur..

  4. Andrew Evans April 12, 2019 at 12:49 pm #

    Since the survey is closed, I’m not sure I’d or we’d pay to take the trip. We go further up the North Shore and rarely stay around Duluth. Then, if the prices were high enough, we’d more than likely save money by driving and enjoy more flexibility.

    Not a great rail mind here, but I’m not sure how easy and simple it would be to send the same train across some extremely busy track to Union Station in St. Paul. If that’s the destination, it may be easier to take the light rail from Mpls.

    Anyone traveling from Chicago to Duluth by rail would need to transfer anyway, unless they run the Empire builder to Duluth every other day or something, St. Cloud would be the only stop that would change.

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