Sunday, February 10, 2013
With several proposals before the Legislature, Patch wants to know what ideas, if any, you favor.
Last legislative session, the big question about Southwest Light Rail Transit was whether there was enough political will to fund the project. The tables appear to have turned this year, though. With at least three funding proposals floating around, the focus has lately been more on how to fund it than whether it deserves any money. Edina Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-District 49) introduced Senate File 257 and Senate File 258, which would provide $118 million and $37 million, respectively, in bonding money for the 15-mile light rail project. Watch Franzen explain her bills in the YouTube video above. Gov. Mark Dayton, on the other hand, has proposed a quarter-cent sales tax increase that would set up a dedicated revenue stream for transit—some…
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
On Tuesday, Gov. Dayton proposed a quarter cent local sales tax increase for dedicated transit funding.
The following was released by Hennepin County: The Counties Transit Improvement Board strongly applauds Gov. Mark Dayton’s proposed quarter cent local sales tax increase for dedicated transit funding in the region. “This new investment will allow for a quicker build-out of our regional transit system, including both light rail and bus rapid transit, as well as stabilization and growth in core bus services,” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. “We are competing with our peers to attract new businesses and talent to Minnesota. The governor’s proposal will solidify the transportation component of his plans for a vibrant, more competitive Minnesota. When combined with the expansion of the sales tax base and the …
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Metro chambers commissioned the study to find out voters’ opinions about public transportation.
Support for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project has grown significantly over the past year and a majority of Minnesotans support a sales tax increase for transit, according to survey results announced Thursday. The memo that the bipartisan survey team produced on behalf of the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce paints a picture of widespread support for transit in both the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. “Minnesotans understand that planning for economic growth and improving our region’s transportation system is just common sense,” a news release quoted Minneapolis Regional Chamber President Todd Klingel. “This survey shows there is strong support for …
Friday, January 11, 2013
The most thoughtful, moving, controversial or just plain funny comments from around the west metro between Jan. 4 and Jan. 10.
Each week, Patch users contribute numerous insights, opinions and observations. The following is a collection of the most thoughtful, moving, controversial or just plain funny comments that appeared on Patch sites in Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Richfield, Shakopee, Plymouth, St. Louis Park and St. Michael. Click on the headline to read the full story and join in the conversation. (The comments below are not meant to reflect the opinions of Patch or its staff.) *** VIDEO: State Rep. Yvonne Selcer Discusses Priorities The state legislative session began on Tuesday, Jan 8 at noon. What issues should Yvonne Selcer and our other local representatives focus on? From Becky Henry: Thanks for this helpful video …
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Whether an increased sales tax or a new taxing jurisdiction, advocates say a reliable funding stream could insulate transit from political winds.
The Southwest Light Rail Transit project hasn’t had an easy time securing state funding over the past couple years. It faced stiff opposition from Republicans, with the former transportation committee head promising to stop the Southwest LRT "in its tracks." DFL wins in the 2012 Election bode well for the project, but there’s no way of knowing how long that will last. With the line years away from operation, and the Bottineau Transitway moving forward, some light rail advocates are questioning whether transit should rely so much on state funding. That was the question brought up multiple times Tuesday during a meeting with national and local development experts about making the most of Southwest LRT. Instituting a reliable revenue stream, …
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 …
Last week's news roundup also includes news on a new bar in Southwest Minneapolis, Edina's top students and business changes in St. Michael-Albertville.
Sunday, December 2, 2012
This week's roundup also includes news on a new bar in Southwest Minneapolis, Edina's top students and business changes in St. Michael-Albertville.
Editor’s Note: Every week we will bring you a sampling of stories from Patch sites in the west metro: Eden Prairie, Edina, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Lake Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Plymouth, Richfield, Southwest Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and St. Michael. Southwest LRT Typo Underestimates Co-location Costs by $100M Engineering consultants have identified a $100 million typo in a Southwest Light Rail Transit report that understates the cost of putting the Twin Cities & Western freight line in the same corridor as the light rail—an option known as “co-location.” The correction narrows the gap between the co-location option and the so-called “locally preferred alternative” that would reroute freight rail to a spur line in St. Louis …
Friday, November 2, 2012
With Hopkins High School so far from the planned light rail line, School Board Director Kris Newcomer questioned whether students would actually be able to use LRT to travel to courses offered at the University of Minnesota.
One of the benefits of the proposed Southwest Light Rail Transit line, promoters say, is that west metro high schoolers could use the line to take college classes at the University of Minnesota. School Board Director Kris Newcomer was skeptical, though. Hopkins High School is about four miles from the nearest station. At a joint meeting with the City Council on Tuesday, she wondered how the students are going to get there. The discussion centers on Southwest’s green line extension,which would allow riders to get all the way from Eden Prairie to the University of Minnesota and on to St. Paul. That’s a perfect fit for the state’s Post-Secondary Enrollment Options program, light rail advocates say. That program allows high school juniors and …
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
‘We are on the verge of finally creating a comprehensive transportation system that links the entire Twin Cities region together.’
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Editor’s Note: The following guest column was submitted by Dan Duffy, principal with Daniel K. Duffy Architects, Inc. in Minnetonka. Duffy served on the Southwest Transitway Policy Advisory Committee and currently is a member of the Business Advisory Committee. In 2002, I was asked to represent the business community on a group asking how to best serve west metro transportation needs. Ten years later, support for Southwest Light Rail is strong and growing. Why? Because we have some of the most important economic development opportunities in the region and state. Projected job growth here requires more transportation if we are going to serve those employees and maintain our quality of life. That, in turn, means investing in both better …