Met Council not concerned about Southwest LRT's exclusion from Dayton's bonding bill

SouthwestLRT.jpg
Images via Met Council and Mulad on Flickr
A prelimary map of the Southwest LRT line's proposed route.
For the Met Council, getting some bonding bucks for Southwest LRT would be like icing on the proverbial cake -- a nice bonus, but not necessary.

SEE ALSO: Mpls committee approves streetcar plan called "boondoggle of highest order" by Cam Winton

The council asked Dayton for $81 million for that purpose, but according to the bonding proposal the governor released yesterday, it'll get zilch.

No biggie, Met Council spokesperson Bonnie Kollodge told us yesterday.

"Dayton is asking the council to evaluate and consider alternative financing options for the remaining amount of the state's 10 percent share of the $1.25 billion project," Kollodge said, adding that the state has so far committed $44 million to the project and needs to commit $81 million more. "This is not a setback or deal-breaker. Not being included in the bonding bill just recognizes the politics of passing a bonding bill."

During a news conference yesterday, Dayton said his nearly $1 billion bonding proposal prioritized "shovel-ready projects." Indeed, Southwest LRT isn't close to that point, as the layout of the 14.5-mile Eden Prairie-to-downtown line is still the subject of a contentious and long-running dispute between St. Louis Park and Minneapolis.

"My proposals will put thousands of Minnesotans to work throughout our state," Dayton said in a press release, adding that his proposal, if enacted by the Legislature, will create more than 27,000 jobs. "This bill gives priority to projects that are ready to go."

But Kollodge said the Met Council isn't reliant on bonding.

"We are confident that we will be able identify a funding source that will complete the remaining amount of the state's 10 percent share of the project," she said.

On that point, it's relevant to note that Senate Transportation Committee Chair Scott Dibble told us earlier this week he's optimistic a comprehensive transportation bill can get done this session.

Asked what projects he'd especially like to see completed, Dibbled said, "Southwest LRT is extremely important."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

My Voice Nation Help
22 comments
Keith Morris
Keith Morris

Let's just kill this light rail line to the depths of suburbia already. Not only are the areas surrounding the planned stations unsafe for pedestrians and cyclists they only cover a very tiny area and are either ultra low-density (very few riders nearby) or are not able to be developed. The whole point for this form of *urban* transportation, light rail, is to connect dense areas that are spread too far apart for a streetcar to cover relatively quickly and increase population density around each station to maximize the usefulness of said infrastructure to the highest number of people possible. SWLRT flat out fails in every regard because, surprise, it's set to be built in a suburban area crafted specifically to be as anti-mass transit as possible, so let's spend over a billion to put light rail there instead of somewhere crazy, like a city. Outside of Mpls the only station that makes sense is Hopkins for its walkable downtown. That number could have been 2, but the bright minds behind this didn't want this line to go to Excelsior which also has a walkable urban downtown.

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

The Met Council should be abolished. They're a bunch of unelected bozos appointed as political payback and they bully small communities.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Ridiculous obsolete Choo Choos as if the entire Metro is as dense as New York.    Democrats returning you to the Stone age for temporary Union/Democrat and Government Jobs, that you will subsidize into perpetuity.   

David Kay
David Kay

This is so embarrassing. Just build it. Build 7 more like it. The positive effects will last for generations. Have we learned nothing in the last hundred years?

Chris Flaherty
Chris Flaherty

Source? Other than well, what is essentially your admitted opinion.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

this LRT will never happen...wtf... maybe in 2030 it may be completed... this is the 1st LRT that shouldve been bulit


not that big lake HICK bullshit

Johnny Pharr
Johnny Pharr

Chris flaherty the data is skewed. Dayton is responsible for closing private sector businesses so he can create state jobs. I know this first hand and have been closely related to it.

Marty Cudo
Marty Cudo

If the total $1.25 billion cost of this project was wages alone, it would pay 27,000 people on average $46,296 for one year. To assume that even half this money would go to wages, which would be a stretch for a project with this kind of infrastructure, you would have 27,000 people making on average $23,148 for one year. Taking into consideration that the people working on this project will be steelworkers, electricians, excavators, engineers, etc., and most will probably be unionized work, there is no way these numbers add up. Somebody, either the Governor, or the writer of this article, is lying their butt off.

Chris Flaherty
Chris Flaherty

Is that why Minnesota is outpacing Wisconsin in jobs? I don't like Dayton that much but our unemployment rate is at 4.8%. Think you could do better? Run for governor.

Johnny Pharr
Johnny Pharr

The real question is how many jobs is he responsible for closing down? Worst MN. Gov ever!

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Well Put Keith.   Its common sense.   But the GovernmentCrats dont see it that way, the tools for these politician Global Warming Alarmists want it in the name of Environment.  

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

Are you really embarrassed that this project is not getting funding?   It's a boondoggle move back to the 1800's.  Trains are obsolete.   Burb folk are not going to get out of a cadillac SUV to jump on Public Transit.  We are not New York.   The only thing that will last for generations is the subsidizing for these trains that no one will ever ride in this Metro.  What a Joke!  

midwestexplorer81
midwestexplorer81

I can't picture the people in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, or Edina, riding the train anymore than people of Big Lake so I'm not sure why this line should have been built first besides you yourself want to ride it. 

Also just for future reference the Northstar line to Big Lake is not LRT, it's a passenger train run on existing freight rail lines. They started service on Northstar first because the track was already built.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@digitalprotocolNever should happen. The Burb folk don't like freaking trains and social engineering.  We are and always will be too spread out,  this is not New York you genius.

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@kurt124 


Well, admittedly, there is a sizable number people who use Southwest Metro Transit (bus service to/from Eden Prairie and DT Minneapolis), but those numbers do not justify a $1 billion+ light rail line to replace bus service. 


The Hiawatha line has been proven to be successful because it services high public transit use areas of south Minneapolis, Richfield, and Bloomington, and of course the airport and the MOA. Plus the fact that it carries hundreds of thousands of Twins, Vikings, and Wolves fans each year makes it even more than worth the investment that it required to build it. The new University Ave light rail also, IMHO, was a good investment as it will eventually pay for itself as it also caters to high public transit areas.


You are correct that this is not New York, but you should not dismiss LRT altogether. I agree with you that the Southwest Metro Line is a joke, but they should allocate those resources into LRT services in areas that are in desperate need of such services. Lake St. and Central come to mind. Not Eden Prairie and Hopkins. 

Gary
Gary

@kurt124You live in the suburbs because you are scared, racist and boring.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@WhiteMatt I will consider that Matt and take your word for it, your one of the few sane folks here.  Glad to hear that as well.   Regards

WhiteMatt
WhiteMatt

@Gary


No, he lives in the suburbs because he can afford to. People who can afford to live in safe, decent places (albeit "boring" ones, which I admit for the most part is true), do not chose to live in poverty and violence-stricken ghettos like north Minneapolis or the east side of St. Paul. And those who do are stupid and eventually learn the hard way that "diversity" isn't all that grand. Just ask Ray Winstand. He moved into a socially and economically diverse neighborhood, because he thought it would be "cool". And it almost cost him his life.

kurt124
kurt124 topcommenter

@Gary@kurt124Typical Libtard response. The Race card inevitably appears.  You Democrats are hateful lunatics.

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...