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Minnesota Zoo says goodbye to the monorail

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The aging, underused monorail at the 500-acre Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley made its final loop last month.

The Star Tribune reports the monorail's last days of service happened around Labor Day after the transit system had been losing money in recent years due to low ridership.

Zoo spokeswoman Kelly Lessard tells the newspaper that ridership dropped from nearly 186,000 in fiscal year 2009 to about 152,000 in the most recent fiscal year.

Just to break even with annual operating costs, the monorail would have needed 40,000 more riders.

Due to more frequent mechanical issues and with parts being hard to come by, the more than 30-year-old monorail would eventually need to be replaced, which would have cost more than $40 million.

The zoo announced its plans to dismantle the monorail this summer.

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