Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
fehler
Rice Park
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby fehler » May 6th, 2016, 1:58 pm

I'm shocked. This went to a vote, and the whip count didn't tally? Who held out/changed their vote? And if it wasn't going to pass anyways, why didn't the LRT Grandstanders make their Grandstand? And why would they put this to a vote before the House even released their version of the bill? Were they hoping to influence their unwritten version (good luck with that)?

gpete
Union Depot
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby gpete » May 6th, 2016, 2:53 pm

The majority leader surely did a whip count for the Dems, but bonding bills need 3/5 majority, so they needed some GOP votes for passage. Hard to get accurate vote count from the opposition party; they have other motives and might outright lie about their voting intentions.

HiawathaGuy
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby HiawathaGuy » May 13th, 2016, 12:41 pm

Final SWLRT environmental report released
http://www.journalmpls.com/news/transpo ... -released/

sean
Block E
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby sean » May 13th, 2016, 3:26 pm

Don't let the 17,000 pages number scare you from digging in. The overview chapters do a good job of covering the breadth of this project, and are pretty well organized to help you dig into whatever topic might interest you the most. http://www.metrocouncil.org/swlrt/feis

It looks like a lot of the bulk of the report comes from the public comments. They even scanned in the envelopes that people's letters came in. Cool to see so many people passionate about a civic issue whatever side they are on.

mattaudio
Stone Arch Bridge
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mattaudio » May 13th, 2016, 3:42 pm

Lots of nuggets in the public comments,
Barbara Fleet, Southwest Station condos:
"Also, I think about all aspects of this. You're talking about inner city people, some very undesirable people maybe coming out on the light rail to the number one city -- voted the number one city in the whole U.S. coming out. This could totally -- it could increase the crime, which could totally affect Eden Prairie forever." Oh, and "the condos were built on the wetlands"

Silophant
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » May 13th, 2016, 3:51 pm

Gotta love that barely-veiled racism. I mean, maybe just classism, but probably racism. Or both.

Also, news to me that inner-city undesirables are not allowed to board SWT buses.

User avatar
Tiller
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Tiller » May 13th, 2016, 4:07 pm

How about the over/under on the % comments that are thinly veiled (if that) racism/classism at 15%? I'd say over.

mullen
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » May 17th, 2016, 11:39 am

line isn't happening. DFL had two sessions of complete control of both houses in last half decade and chose to put off more dedicated transit funding for another session. that decision is paying off now isn't it. I have zero regard for whining from transit advocates and like minded DFLers. the house speaker openly says his desire is to kill the southwest line... so bravo all around.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » May 17th, 2016, 11:45 am

(You're absolutely right about the failure to pass a transpo bill in 2013-14, but...)

You might want to wait a week before you go digging SWLRT's grave. Even without state dollars, do you honestly believe that CTIB, Met Council, & Hennepin are just going to let this whole thing collapse over, what, $130MM? Please. They will find a way to keep the project on track and in the good graces of the feds, state funding or no. I promise you that Met Council already has a contingency plan to keep this project moving forward.

Archiapolis
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Archiapolis » May 17th, 2016, 11:52 am

I wonder if Met Council would like to have that money back from the "bridge to nowhere" for the People's Stadium. <runs out of the room>

mullen
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » May 17th, 2016, 11:58 am

that's optimistic of you. we should be past the point of trying to cobble together local match dollars. but seriously, look at the multiple lines being built or close to construction in our peer cities. than look at our metro, held hostage by people representing small towns and farm land.

mullen
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » May 17th, 2016, 11:58 am

oh yea, that five million dollars for a ped bridge will really make a dent in the local match to the feds...

Archiapolis
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Archiapolis » May 17th, 2016, 12:09 pm

Twincitizen doesn't think $130M is a problem so that makes the $5M (just shy of 4% of $130M) even more of a pittance. $5M for everyone!

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » May 17th, 2016, 12:24 pm

Regarding our peer cities: sure, there's a lot more miles of track, but despite our local region's tendency to drag out planning forever, the lines we do have carry a very high number of passengers relative our region's size. Just because we've spent less to build fewer miles of track into the suburbs, doesn't mean our system lags. It's actually relatively "urban" for a recently-built mid-size city's light rail system.

I tend to think Twincitizen is probably right about SWLRT. The thing is, in terms of our region's finances, $130M is small potatoes. There's no statutory reason that CTIB couldn't cover that gap tomorrow, and they have the bonding capacity to do it without substantially altering their long-range forecast. I think that's a very likely scenario, as the 10/30/10 state/CTIB/local mechanism is more of a loosely established "norm" than anything required by anybody. If CTIB allows SW to not get built, then it doesn't matter how much money they have for future projects, they won't ever build them.

Is that a good outcome? Of course not. The state should honor its duties and cough up the $130M, especially given the surplus we have. But if they don't, CTIB can cover it and I can't imagine them not doing so.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » May 17th, 2016, 12:36 pm

According to Wikipedia (I know, not a real source, but it's quick), only Boston and San Francisco have higher ridership per mile than Minneapolis on systems categorized as light rail. Denver has the same overall ridership as Minneapolis on more than twice the track miles. St. Louis has two thirds the ridership on more than twice the track. Seattle, of course, is out of date on that list and is likely to come in above Minneapolis once their extension's data shows up, but even then, we're fourth. I'd rather have useful transit than a big map with trains running every twenty minutes.

mullen
Foshay Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby mullen » May 17th, 2016, 12:38 pm

if there is no statutory reason then why is this is even an issue at the state capitol? why is the speaker of the house openly mocking funding transit? CTIB should just write a check if it's that's easy. but sadly it isn't that easy. we have to lurch from line to line with no long term funding in place beyond CTIB.

YES our system lags... it's pathetic to even call two lines a "system".

RailBaronYarr
Capella Tower
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » May 17th, 2016, 2:10 pm

CTIB writing a check isn't super easy. They're constrained to the quarter-cent sales tax annual revenue, constrained by regional geographic spending requirements, etc. They have money committed each year to different capital projects and operating those when they're complete. We're building lines faster than the sales tax is growing, meaning there is a point where the entirety of the sales tax will be funding operating previously-constructed lines rather than having enough to fund new ones. So, CTIB *could* write the check, but that puts them in a bind for other projects they've somewhat committed to in the coming years, and also may cause issues with the counties who are involved seeing Hennepin get another huge chunk.

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » May 17th, 2016, 2:33 pm

Meh, you're not wrong, and that's part of why CTIB hasn't suggested this. The other part is political: if they let the legislature off the hook on this, it just sets up a bigger fight later.

BUT, any of you who read CTIB's minutes and reports know that they could absorb $130M of funding for this with very little impact. It would just push something off the back end of the queue. Their program of projects shows a still-conservative tax-growth and bonding model that would allow them to fund their 30% share of SW, 30% of Bottineau, 30% of the "Gold Line", 60% of Riverview, operations for half of all of these plus Blue and Green Line, Orange Line, and Northstar without exceeding their bonding authority in the next twenty years. Realistically all those projects will take longer than anticipated (SW and Bottineau are both already several years behind), which gives them more cushion of income vs. bonding. So actually, writing a check would just be a matter of taking a vote. And that means Hennepin County, the Metro Council, and one other county voting in favor.

moda253
Nicollet Mall
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby moda253 » May 17th, 2016, 2:53 pm

David Greene wrote:
mattaudio wrote:I'm fine seeing bonding bills and transportation bills go down in flames as long as it takes to starve the subsidized-driving beast.
But are you fine seeing opportunity and equity ripped away from poor families? From families of color?

This strikes me as funny and maybe I'm missing an inside joke here but what does that have to do with anything?

talindsay
Wells Fargo Center
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby talindsay » May 17th, 2016, 3:11 pm

From the Board's Program of Projects Document (from the April Minutes [pdf]):
CTIB Program of Projects wrote:
  1. CTIB’S CONTRIBUTIONS TO CTIB TRANSITWAYS AND TRANSITWAY IMPROVEMENTS
    1. CTIB’s share of capital costs.
      1. General Rule.
        The Board’s contribution to the funding of a transitway or a transitway
        improvement will not exceed 30% of the total capital costs, except as provided for herein.
      2. Potential Higher CTIB Contribution for Early Phases of Project Development.
        The Board may contribute up to 60% of the project development and engineering phases of work:
        1. If the overall contribution will be within the Board’s specified maximum, and
        2. If the Board deems its increased share as an acceptable risk after consideration of a Risk Assessment and Risk Mitigation Plan prepared and submitted by the project sponsor, pursuant to Section 3.
      3. Potential Higher CTIB Contribution for Total Capital Costs.
        The Board may exceed its 30% cap on its total capital contribution for a transitway, if the Board determines that the project meets all of the following criteria:
        1. An increased Board contribution will either accelerate the development of the project or decrease the total costs of the transitway project or both.
        2. The Board’s increased share is consistent with the Board’s Program of Projects Investment Strategy.
        3. The Risk Assessment and Risk Mitigation Plan, prepared by the project sponsor in accordance with Section 3,is acceptable.
      4. Potential Higher CTIB’s Contributions for Transitway Improvements.
        The Board will consider its share of a Transitway Improvement to a CTIB Transitway on a case-by-case basis after consideration of available funds. A Transitway Improvement is defined as an improvement to an existing CTIB Transitway that increases the ridership, safety, efficiency or capacity of the Transitway.
Section A(1)(c) grants the board the right to contribute more than 30% if they feel like it, basically.

If you like at the Program of Projects Investment Strategy (the most recent I can find on their site is 2014), especially pages 15 and 16, you can see that $130m wouldn't really make much difference. Heck, the projects have been delayed so much from this timeline that they may not even need to bond to come up with it.


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