20+ Reasons For Regional Passenger Rail

The Minnesota Statewide Rail Plan outlines a vision for the phased development of regional passenger rail service on a statewide network of existing rail lines, including a newly designated (2015) passenger rail corridor that connects South Central Minnesota (Albert Lea, Owatonna, Faribault, Northfield) to both of the Twin Cities, and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Inter-Campus Busway, on existing rail line.

Here is a starter list of 20+ Reasons to reintroduce regional passenger rail to Greater Minnesota!

  • introduces a safe and reliable public option through which to re-connect the reaches of Greater Minnesota with the large urban centers of our State and Upper Midwest Region
  • transfers regional travel demand from roads to rails – thereby reducing the wear and tear on Minnesota’s (winter-whacked) roadways, and in so doing, helping city, county and state highway dollars go further! 
  • provides a safe and reliable means of regional public transit with which all Minnesotans can access work, education and opportunity without the expense of owning a car
  • enhances the competitiveness of Minnesota’s world-class offering of post-secondary schools by introducing what amounts to a Minnesota Campus connector – a safe and reliable means of regional transit that connects 3 of the 5 main campuses of the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities, Duluth and Rochester), all 17 private colleges in the Minnesota Private College Council and more than 34 campuses of the Minnesota State College and University system.    Click HERE for College/University Reasons for Passenger Rail]
  • provides a safe mode of regional public transit for Minnesota seniors who may prefer not to drive on the inter-state and county high way systems
  • invests in and maximizes the use of existing freight rail lines, infrastructure
  • improves the safety of rail crossings and reduces the need for freight whistles at rail crossings
  • enhances the economic development and vitality of Greater Minnesota communities located on or near passenger rail corridors
  • multiplies ridership on first- and last-mile transit options (e.g. local transit buses, taxis, rideshares, vanpools and bike/pedestrian infrastructure) that connect with passenger rail corridors 
  • keeps Minnesota cities in step with competitor cities in other States
  • transforms wasted hours of “windshield time” into productive work or recreational downtime for Minnesotans who switch from road to rail travel 
  • helps to relieve the daily choke of rush hour traffic at the intersection of I-94 and 35W or on the Crosstown
  • makes it possible for youth to travel to and from Minnesota’s world-class post secondary colleges without the considerable expense of owning a car [ See College Benefits list HERE]
  • helps Minnesota build a green economy
  • directly supports over 35 rail- related industries located in Minnesota
  • helps Minnesota to achieve our State’s carbon reduction goals by introducing fuel-efficient rail technology
  • improves air quality by assisting the transfer of travel demand from roads to rails 
  • makes for an all-round better way to travel
  • introduces a more universally accessible means of regional travel – for all Minnesotans
  • makes Minnesota an even more attractive as a place to live, work, invest, start a business, start a family and/or retire!

Click HERE for a list of 20+ College/University Reasons for Regional Passenger Rail Service for Minnesota – to see how regional passenger rail service benefits Minnesota’s post-secondary schools and students!  

Help us build this list! Email us with your reasons for regional passenger rail – and we will add your suggestions to this list. Thank you for your support!