Northstar rail line offers free rides on 1st anniversary

The Northstar Commuter Rail line is marking its first year of service Tuesday, and it's offering free rides to note the occasion.

Metro Transit is offering free fares for commuters on the train between Big Lake and downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Riders can board at the Big Lake, Elk River, Anoka, Coon Rapids or Fridley stations for the trip into downtown Minneapolis. Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons says return trips are also free those two days.

"We're doing that partly to mark the anniversary. We started a year ago on Nov. 16. But also, we wanted people to experience North Star before the winter weather months," said Gibbons. "We noticed last winter when the weather was bad, or the forecast was for bad weather, we had several hundred more rides a day on Northstar. So we want to get people acquainted with it."

Rides are also free on Northstar Link commuter buses on Tuesday and Wednesday.