What Do You Know About the Metro's Light Rail Projects?
A look at the details for the four light rail projects closest to completion.
Whether you like it or not, light rail is the talk of the metro at the moment.
Businesses along the Central Corridor have another year of construction to look forward to.
In Golden Valley, residents are waiting to see what their City Council will do when it comes to supporting a resolution that would send a light rail train through their community. Many Golden Valley residents urged the City Council to vote no on the resolution that would allow more studies to be conducted about the Bottineau Transitway’s locally preferred alternative (LPA).
Meanwhile, the Hiawatha line continues to carry riders between the Mall of America and Minneapolis’ downtown.
In all, the Metropolitan Council’s transit plan envisions four light rail lines by 2030.
With so many miles of track on the table, keeping tabs on the details can be daunting. To make it a little easier, Patch has collected all the specifics in one place.
The table below contains information on cost, ridership, length and more for the four lines closest to completion. We’d love to hear what you think about each line.
Which ones do you think you’ll use? How do you think they’ll affect the corridors through which they travel? Which ones make sense? Take a look at the details and then share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Details for projects in the planning stages are subject to change before they're finished.)
|Build cost||$715 million
||$1.195 billion||$1.072 billion||
Annual Operating cost
|$18.7 million✝||$21 million||$25.4 million
||$25.4 million||$22.4 to $24.1 million||$23.7 million to $25.1 million|
|Build Start||2001||2010||2015 to 2017
||2015 to 2017
|Operations Start||2004||2014||2018||2018||See Sources
|Length||12 miles||11 miles||16.4 miles
||About 13 miles
||About 13 miles
|Number of Stations||19***||23***||18*||18*||12
|Cities on the line||Minneapolis||Minneapolis, St. Paul||Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis
||Same as the LPA
||Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park||Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park|
|Expected weekday ridership||31,333 January through October 2012
||More than 40,000 by 2030
||28,700 by 2030
||28,700 by 2030||27,600 (A-C-D1) or 27,000 (B-C-D1) by 2030
||27,200 (A-C-D2) or 26,000 (B-C-D2) by 2030
|Number of properties acquired
|Properties with severe residential impacts from noise||N/A
- Southwest LRT: Information came from the project's draft environmental impact statement and the Metropolitan Council.
- Bottineau Transitway: Information came from the project's draft environmental impact statement scoping documents, specifically the alignment D1-D2 comparison matrix. Hennepin County’s Engineering and Transit Planning Manager Joseph Gladke told Patch that he couldn't estimate start times for construction of the line. "The project has a long way to go and many hurdles to clear before we will know those dates," Gladke said.
- Central Corridor: Property information came from Met Council spokesperson Laura Baenen. Operating costs came from the Met Council's Financial Management Plan for the Central Corridor, published in 2008. All other information came from fact sheets published on the line's project website.
- Hiawatha Line: Information from Metrot Transit's "Before & After Study: Hiawatha Light Rail Line," Metro Transit spokesperson John Siqveland, and fact sheets published on the Metro Transit website.
* Includes the Target Field station.
** Does not include 123 assumed property aquisitions on Penn Avenue.
*** Includes five stations in downtown Minneapolis shared between the Hiawatha Line and the Central Corridor.
✝ Data from 2006.
ǂ During the preliminary engineering and final design process, engineers found ways to mitigate numerous noise issues identified by community members and the project's environmental impact assessment process.