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 …
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 …
Monday, November 26, 2012
The error, which arose out of editing and formatting changes, does not change the conclusions of the project’s draft environmental impact statement.
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 draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) listed the “professional services” cost of option 3A-1—the co-location alternative—as “$99,357 (in thousands).” That should have read “$199,357 (in thousands).” The difference between the two figures is $100 million but does not alter the conclusions of the DEIS. “While I'm dismayed that an error of this nature was made, we all think it's important to be transparent, to identify the error and make the correction immediately,” Hennepin County …
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
St. Louis Park residents worry a freight rail reroute will make their neighborhoods more dangerous, hurt schools and lower property values.
Drivers passing St. Louis Park City Hall on Wednesday night couldn’t miss the orange shirts and big-lettered signs of protestors upset about the proposed route of the Southwest Light Rail Transit line. Critics showed up in force prior to a public hearing on the project’s draft environmental impact statement to protest the proposed relocation of the Twin Cities & Western freight line, which currently operates on a planned segment of the Southwest LRT. Nearby residents say the additional, heavier freight traffic on the tracks would lower property values, disrupt nearby St. Louis Park High School and be more dangerous. “You say there are five communities along the line,” Mminnetonka Boulevard homeowner Brian Zachek said at a public hearing …
Monday, November 12, 2012
The chambers promised to work with new and returning legislators to see the Southwest LRT project through.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Editor’s Note: In the lead-up to the 2012 election, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce, Edina Chamber of Commerce, Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce and TwinWest Chamber of Commerce talked with candidates and voters about the need for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project. The election brought in numerous legislators who support the project and transferred control to the DFL, which has historically been more supporting of light rail than their Republican opponents. TwinWest Chamber Director of Government Affairs Judy Johnson issued the following statement on behalf of the five chambers. “Discussions before the election were a great opportunity for us to educate voters and policymakers …
Friday, November 9, 2012
‘Major opponents of transit lost their 2012 re-election bids, particularly in the areas representing the Southwest Light Rail Transit Corridor.’
Friday, November 9, 2012
Editor’s Note: The Counties Transit Improvement Board, a five-county agency that invests in transit using a quarter-cent sales tax and $20 a motor vehicle sales tax, published this article Thursday. The election results make it clear the dialogue about transit in the State of Minnesota has changed. “Voters throughout the State of Minnesota expressed the desire to shift the state’s focus to fundamental questions about how we can best invest in our communities to achieve a prosperous and thriving future,” said Counties Transit Improvement Board Chair Peter McLaughlin. “Transit is part of the solution that will make our region competitive.” Major opponents of transit lost their 2012 re-election bids, particularly in the areas representing…