Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the Northstar commuter rail service. (Source: Metro Transit)
Where can I find the schedule and the fares for the Northstar train?
All the information is listed on the Northstar commuter rail Web site.
How long is the trip?
The route from Big Lake to Minneapolis is 40 miles long. The estimated travel time is 50 minutes. The top speed of the Northstar train is 79 mph.
Will I be able to ride transit all the way from Big Lake to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport or Mall of America?
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Yes. Commuters can catch Northstar at stations between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis, and then transfer to Hiawatha Light Rail Transit at the Target Field Station in Minneapolis at no extra charge. Hiawatha LRT provides service throughout downtown and South Minneapolis, as well as the airport and Mall of America.
What are the trains like?
Each train has a locomotive and up to four passenger cars. Each car has three levels of seating, with a capacity of 140 passengers. They also have onboard restrooms.
Can I bring my bicycle on the train?
Yes. Each Northstar train car comes equipped with two on-board bicycle storage spaces. You'll need to ecure your bike and personal items after boarding, and stand with your bike or take a seat nearby the rack. Locked bicycle storage lockers also are available at each suburban Northstar station for riders who prefer to leave their bikes behind.
Are Northstar trains accessible to wheelchairs and strollers?
Yes. Northstar Commuter Rail service is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. All station platforms will include ramps to provide easy roll-on access for passengers in wheelchairs or with strollers. Each Northstar passenger car also is equipped with a wheelchair lift and space to accommodate four wheelchairs.
Can I bring food or beverages on the train?
Food is not allowed on trains. Beverages need to be in covered containers, such as travel mugs or bottles. Trash bins will be available on board the trains.
What should I do if passenger cars are full and there are no empty seats?
Passengers may walk safely between train cars to find a seat on one of the three levels in each passenger car. If there are no seats available, passengers can stand along the aisles, hold on to seat handles, and be prepared for sudden stops. Each passenger car has designated seating for elderly and disabled riders.
Is there a wireless Internet connection on Northstar trains?
No. However, work tables and electrical outlets are available to use electrical devices such as laptops.
May I use my mobile phone or wireless device?
Yes. Mobile phones are allowed on trains, but passengers are asked to keep calls brief and quiet, to be respectful of others. Please also keep the volume low on headphones and electronic devices.
Who can I go to with questions or for assistance?
Each train will have a conductor on board who will check fares and help passengers board, ride and disembark safely, and answer questions.