Last week, I wrote about how late night commuter service helps rush hour trips. The main contention is that for anyone who doesn't have a very stable 8-4 or 9-5 job, the Northstar Line is not a viable option, and how this is actually the case for many other commuter rail systems in the country.
One of these prospective riders wrote about it in the Star Tribune. We seem to agree. Her worry is, however, that if ridership is muted, it will never be able to expand north or to change its schedule. The politics and logistics of adding trips are very tricky, but it seems that having a later evening trip or two (8 p.m. and 11 p.m.) would provide a safety net allowing many more commuters on the late trains. A sweeper bus or two would work as a preliminary measure (there is currently one bus which leaves at 7:00 and only serves some stations). If not, well, it means more cars on the road, and fewer riders on the rails.