Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Northern Lights Express

Proposed passenger rail service between Minneapolis and Duluth, MN

Financial planning and ridership study

As planning for the Northern Lights Express moves forward, it is necessary for MnDOT to determine how many people are expected to ride the train. As part of this effort, this past March, MnDOT conducted an extensive public survey to understand how and why travelers would choose to ride the proposed Northern Lights Express passenger train between Minneapolis and Duluth instead of driving, taking a bus or flying.

The survey was offered in a variety of ways. Randomly selected households along the Twin Cities/Duluth corridor completed the on-line based survey. In-person surveys were also conducted at several locations, such as the Mall of America in the Twin Cities and the Miller Hill Mall in Duluth. A link to the online-based survey was distributed by email to the project email list and brought in additional survey responses.

Thank you to all who participated in the survey. The results of this survey will be used to ensure that the ridership forecasts for the NLX Project are based on the anticipated travel choices of people who actually live in or who would visit the NLX corridor. Preliminary survey results are expected by late summer.