Southwest LRT Once Again Left Out Of Bonding Proposal

A $444 million proposal headed for the House floor does not contain money for the project.

The Legislature has a new bonding bill headed for the House floor, but it has once again passed over a $25 million request for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project.

On Friday, the House Ways and Means Committee approved a $443.9 million bonding bill on a voice vote, which that only contained enough to restore the state Capitol.

But even though the latest bonding proposal is bigger, it does not contain the $25 million that is to be part of a $125 million total state contribution to the project. Federal money and county funds that are required to be spent on transit would match that, including a federal share of $625 million.

Rail advocates say a state commitment is necessary to assure the federal government that Minnesota is on board. Failure to set aside the money could put the project behind others across the country. But some opponents are wary about putting state money on the line without federal commitments, while others say the transportation money would be better spent on roads and buses than rail.

The new bonding bill does include $50 million for local road improvements and $50 million for local bridge replacement and rehabilitation.

Bruce Rowan April 23, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Instead of asking whether it will or won't get done, how about asking if it should, with reasons why or why not?
James Warden April 23, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I asked the question above for the sake of variety. We've had other poll questions asking if it should be done, how often people would use it and the like. This just seemed like a good time for people to make their predictions about what will happen. But that doesn't mean people can't use this comment thread to discuss whether LRT should happen. I, personally, love how readers' discussions can spin off in directions I never foresaw.
Emily B April 24, 2012 at 03:02 PM
If the legislature does not approve this, we will drop to the bottom of the barrel at the federal level and continue to fall behind other large metro areas that have quality mass transit services. I guess if MN likes being viewed as this "antique/quaint" metro area, we should keep voting like this. Whether people want to believe it or not, mass transit is a consideration for folks considering moving here for jobs, not to mention keeping people here.


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