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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

New bus service to Twin Cities

<o-op bus replaced by the newly instated Northfield Metro Express, the Carleton community is now able to enjoy much greater access to the Twin Cities.

While it was previously impossible for students without a car on campus to make trips to the cities during the week, this service runs buses between Northfield and downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul 7 days a week, all year round. More stops, including nearby universities, have also been added to the route, and to top it all off, the buses have been outfitted with bike racks, seat-back tray tables, and free Wi-Fi.

This new service comes courtesy of Northfield Lines and came to fruition through the collaboration of many different groups in the Northfield community. Dissatisfaction over the limited transportation means has long permeated the general public, and in response, head of the Northfield Grass Roots Transit Initiative, Suzie Nakasian, contacted Northfield Lines to be part of the solution. “We had been hearing from the community for some time that this service was needed,” Marketing Specialist at Northfield Lines, Lisa Peterson said. “They invited us to the meetings and this service was born.”

Last spring, CSA also surveyed the student body on their views of transportation in Northfield and the results clearly indicated students wanted the option of being able to travel on weekdays as well as weekends.

“The Metro Express really meets these needs,” Julia Burmesch, Director of Campus Services, said.
Although this new service is now open to the entire Northfield community, it is not expected that Carleton students will have difficulty reserving a seat on their desired bus. Burmesch explained that services have expanded enough in order to accommodate this change. “The co-op bus was never incredibly populated and more often than not ran well under capacity,” she said. “With residents in Northfield, in addition to just college students, the potential demand has opened up and makes it much more viable for Northfield Lines to provide this service.”

Aside from meeting students’ transportation needs, the Metro Express is also in line with Carleton’s commitment to sustainability. All of the motor coaches are fueled by bio-diesel, which, “compared to other vehicles, emit the least amount of carbon dioxide per passenger mile and are on average 6 times more energy- and fuel-efficient than single occupancy vehicles,” Peterson said. “Thus, carbon dioxide emissions are reduced by an average of 85% per passenger mile for every person who chooses motor coach travel.”

Campus Services anticipates that first-time passengers may have questions about these changes in transportation options, such as purchasing tickets directly through Northfield Lines (, and has set up an information booth in Sayles.

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