Recently an editorial appeared on Patch and in the Star Tribune that was submitted by Mound City Councilman David Osmek, who argues that the costs involving putting in the SWLRT transit extension is prohibitive and we should simply get off the train.
Recently, three leaders of metro area chambers of commerce crafted a rebuttal to David's piece.
David's piece fails to cover three key aspects of the Southwest LRT project, namely access to good jobs, the true costs of business as usual, and the impacts on the state if we simply do nothing. The discussions around LRT can be emotional and data can be bent to support any argument. But one thing we all need to think about is what will be the legacy we leave future generations? Will it be decaying infrastructure, expensive roads and bridges to subsidize, prohibitively expensive maintenance and repairs, and no relief from soaring and constrained carbon based fuels? Or will it be one that leverages advanced technology, efficient modes of transportation and cost effective choice for everyone?
I encourage all of us to learn about the complete costs and benefits and to participate in upcoming sessions later this summer on the SWLRT program, which will be hosted by the Met Council and Hennepin County Rail Authority. I along with Patch will let you all know when they will take place. It's only by learning and applying all the data—and not just cherry picking the points that David structures in his lone viewpoint (a singular perspective, mind you)—that we can all craft and understand the real benefits from a sustainable transit network meeting the needs of society.
For more information on SWLRT and it's role and function within the transit network for our Metro area please check out the new website at: www.swlrt.org