Friday, May 3, 2013
Many communities along the line worry about the loss of tax base and redevelopment potential should the site move in.
Minnetonka has just one site on a short list of possible locations for a Southwest Light Rail Transit operation and maintenance facility that will service trains along the corridor, according to a list the Metropolitan Council released Thursday. The project’s draft environmental impact statement identified just six possible sites where the facility could be located—five sites in Eden Prairie and one in Minneapolis. However, planners decided that the start of preliminary engineering was a good time to take a look at more sites and they eventually identified 18 sites. The latest list narrows the candidates to nine sites. Those sites are: The maintenance facility is the site where light rail vehicles will be cleaned, stored and undergo light …
Sunday, March 24, 2013
The Metropolitan Council is hosting two meetings on service cuts in April.
Minnetonka bus riders will have a chance to share their thoughts at two meetings in April on proposed route consolidations that could reduce service and lengthen ride times. Five west metro bus routes in the area are under review for consolidation—664, 665, 667E, 670 and 671. The biggest proposed cut near Minnetonka is a portion of Route 670 on Highway 7 between of 17th Avenue in Hopkins and County Road 101 in Minnetonka. The meetings take place: The Metropolitan Council will also receive comments on the proposed policies through the following means: Comments must be received by 5 p.m. April 15. The recommendations arise from a region-wide Metropolitan Council study of possible service reductions and consolidations in express bus …
Thursday, February 28, 2013
Federal New Starts funding is still a couple years away.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit project shouldn’t face any immediate setbacks if cuts from the looming sequestration take effect. The federal New Starts grants program, which helps fund transit expansion and will pay for some of the Southwest project, would be cut by 6 percent in the event of sequestration, according to Streetsblog. However, the Southwest LRT Project has not yet received federal funding, said Laura Baenen, the project’s communications manager. It continues advancing toward that goal in the next couple years.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The pair of bills offer substantially different financing options for the project, but would both see millions of dollars go to the Metropolitan Council.
Two different funding options for the Southwest Light Rail Transit (LRT) line are being considered at the Capitol, after being introduced by Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) Monday morning. Senate File 257 and Senate File 258 both appropriate millions of dollars in bond proceeds to the Metropolitan Council to make the 15-mile light rail route a reality, though they do offer dramatically different amounts. SF 257 would provide $118 million for the project, fully covering the remainder of the state contribution toward the project. SF 258 would provide $37 million. "It is time to move this project forward," Franzen said. "The business community, cities and residents are all on board. We need the Legislature to step up and make an investment …
Monday, December 3, 2012
A study commissioned by the Itasca Project examined the return on investment for fully funding the regional transportation plan—which includes roads, buses and two more light rail lines by 2030.
A study commissioned by a group of Twin Cities business leaders estimates that the region could more than double the return on its investment by fully funding the Metropolitan Council’s transportation plan—which includes road and bus upgrades and the addition of two more light rail lines by 2030. “The Regional Transit Project Return on Investment Assessment” was commissioned by the Itasca Project—a group of more than 50 people that is made up mainly of private sector CEOs, with a small number of public and nonprofit leaders. Cambridge Systematics, the Massachusetts-based firm that did the analysis, estimates that implementing the Met Council’s plan would generate between $6.6 billion and $10.1 billion in direct benefits between 2030 and …
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Fridley rep questions bid by firm involved with faulty 35W and Sabo bridges.
State Representative Tom Tillberry (DFL-51B) sent a three-page letter to Gov. Mark Dayton this week to express his "serious concern" about a bid by an engineering firm, URS Corp., for a pending state contract. Read Tillberry's letter online here. Tillberry, who represents part of Fridley and is a Fridley resident, noted that URS was involved with two faulty bridges in Minneapolis—inspecting the I-35W bridge before it fell and the Sabo bicycle bridge now closed for repairs. The contract in question is for a new light rail transit line between downtown Minneapolis and suburbs to the southwest including St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Edina and Minnetonka. In the April 24, 2012, letter, first posted in a news report at Minnesota.PublcRadio.org, …
Monday, October 10, 2011
The cost of the Southwest project will increase by $70 million to $150 million.
It's still unclear how the freight rail line in Minneapolis’ Kenilworth corridor will be rerouted to make way for the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line. But one determination has been made: The cost of rerouting the line will be added to the cost of the Southwest project, the Southwest LRT management committee announced at its monthly meeting Wednesday in St. Louis Park. This change adds an estimated $70 million to $150 million to the previously estimated $1.25 billion cost. The light-rail will connect Minneapolis to Eden Prairie by way of six suburban municipalities—including Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park. That could make the project’s partners—the state, Hennepin County, a five-county metro board and the Federal Transit…
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Met Council no longer plans fare increases, large service cuts
Minnetonka bus riders can breathe a little easier. The budget that Gov. Mark Dayton signed Wednesday allows Metro Transit to avoid cutting routes and also avoid an across-the-board fare increase, as previously feared. Fifteen metro transit routes currently serve the city of Minnetonka. The Metropolitan Council has canceled all public hearings to consider testimony from community members about the cuts. The council was initially set to lose $109 million in transit money—or 85 percent of the state's general fund contribution to transit for 2012-2013. With a cut that size, Met Council planned to slash or limit 130 of 146 bus routes across the Twin Cities, eliminate most suburban local and crosstown bus routes and increase fares by 25 to 50 …