Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Roads - Rails - Sidewalks - Bikeways
DanPatchToget
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby DanPatchToget » February 22nd, 2017, 3:44 pm

Well, never voting GOP, they've gone too far.

Great job Republicans. If you have your way we still already have two light rail lines in operation, or are they going to try to pull up the rails and burn the light rail cars like its the 1950s?

phop
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby phop » February 22nd, 2017, 4:27 pm

It might be possible to prevent this from passing in the Senate. Assuming Democrats are united, I would think the one Republican to target on this would be Paul Anderson in the 44th district. He won by just under 200 votes and the southern portion of his district is reasonably close to a few of the stations.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » February 22nd, 2017, 6:09 pm

Man, you'd really think with how strongly supportive of SWLRT the various Chambers of Commerce (Minneapolis Regional, TwinWest, etc.) have been, they'd have been able to flip at least a couple Republican legislators in support of the project. Paul Anderson would be the one to target though. If anyone has a connection to TwinWest or one of the major corps out there, I'd urge you to urge them to get in touch with Sen. Anderson ASAP to make sure he does not support the resolution against SWLRT.

VAStationDude
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby VAStationDude » February 22nd, 2017, 6:53 pm

Anderson may fear an endorsement challenge more than a dlfer. Same goes for a lot of these Republicans. If there's anything Republicans like more than cutting off healthcare benefits to the poor and near poor in favor of tax cuts for the idle rich, it's hating rail transit.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » March 1st, 2017, 5:53 pm

FTA representative says: Can't divert funds from SWLRT.

http://m.startribune.com/feds-swlrt-fun ... 415150774/

Korh
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Korh » March 8th, 2017, 11:42 pm

Any idea when construction is supposed to start, I know it was said it would start this year and run into 2020 with service beginning in 2021 but given how its still being heavily fought over in the capital I hope I'm wrong but I kind of have a gut feeling than the December 31st will roll around and (in a figurative sense) not a single foot of track will be laid.

Silophant
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Silophant » March 9th, 2017, 10:14 am

Eh, they're whining about it at the Capitol, but the state's effectively out of the picture now, except for their stupid request that the FTA give our tax money to Portland or whoever. If they ignore it and give CTIB/Hennepin County the money, then I don't see any reason that the project wouldn't start on schedule. If they do pull the funding and give it to somewhere else... Then the project is dead in the water.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 9th, 2017, 1:54 pm

I thought the only thing keeping the Feds from their match was a lack of funding on our end. Assuming that funding issue gets resolved (and I thought they had some kind of plan/backup plan), then the match would still be made.

RailBaronYarr
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 9th, 2017, 2:20 pm

No, the Met Council's commitment to use Certificates of Participation (more expensive bonds, basically) solidified the remaining local share in lieu of the state's expected contribution. The FTA signed off on SWLRT entering engineering phase back in December, which allowed the Met Council to release bids for work - after which the FTA would decide to award funding for the project's construction. So the only things that would basically stop the FTA from funding their half would be 1) drastically higher project costs resulting from the bids, or 2) politics (or a change in FTA funding) killing the line.

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » March 9th, 2017, 3:14 pm

From the Feb. newsletter:
The project has secured all its local funding commitments and the Federal Transit Administration has approved the project to complete Engineering—the final phase before the FTA awards the Full Funding Grant Agreement ($928.8 million, expected in mid-2017), which is the federal government’s contractual commitment to pay half the capital costs.
https://metrocouncil.org/Transportation ... -2017.aspx

Basically it's all systems go unless the Trump administration (via Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao) decides to kill the project by not awarding the FFGA. This could absolutely happen and I don't think there's anything the Met Council could do about it. Fingers crossed the FTA can quietly get this deal signed before Trump decides to entirely kill off the New Starts program just to spite states like CA & WA (which will be makings tens of billion$ in federal requests to match their recently approved sales tax increases).

P.S. Unless he's already been let go by Elaine Chao, the Executive Director of the FTA (top staff person / non-political appointee) is a graduate of the U of M's Humphrey school, so that's kinda cool. If he's still there that certainly can't hurt.

Korh
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Korh » March 9th, 2017, 5:59 pm

So I take it at best construction will start in summer which around the Hopkins might be a bit of a nightmare with that and the 169 bride of nine mile closed in till October and as whether the FTA funding will be pulled i'm kind of leaning towards the side of it probably not going to happen since we should of head early rumblings of it getting pulled with the attempt to divert funds to roads and bridges, Also we still have a 2 to 1 win lose track recorded of building rail projects that meet and exceed goals/estimated ridership (the 1 lose is due to the northstar) so its a would be a slightly safer bet to say the SWLRT has a more probable chance of succeeding.

BoredAgain
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby BoredAgain » March 10th, 2017, 12:10 pm

Korh wrote:
March 9th, 2017, 5:59 pm
Also we still have a 2 to 1 win lose track recorded of building rail projects that meet and exceed goals/estimated ridership (the 1 lose is due to the northstar) so its a would be a slightly safer bet to say the SWLRT has a more probable chance of succeeding.
I'm actually really interested to see how this goes and I am upset that we have to wait at least 5 years to get numbers. SWLRT has travel mode and scheduling like our current LRT, but a suburban destination that more closely matches Northstar and the Red Line. Data on ridership for this line might help settle the "Mode versus Route" debate for ridership prediction.

min-chi-cbus
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby min-chi-cbus » March 10th, 2017, 12:23 pm

I'd personally be shocked if ridership was meager on this route....there's SO many big businesses and destinations connected along this corridor (UHG, Cargill, Eden Prairie's "Golden Triangle", Eden Prairie Center Mall, Uptown/Lake Calhoun, Downtown Hopkins, and Downtown Mpls/Target Field). Additionally, I'd imagine it'd be a nice selling point for young UHG/Cargill employees to be able to enjoy city living and commute to those companies without a car -- all without having a downtown headquarters. It's the best of both worlds for YUPpies looking for a great job and still live in/near the action. All the more reason I'd be surprised if those mega-corporations didn't have a heavy hand in getting this thing pushed along.

acs
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby acs » March 10th, 2017, 1:02 pm

Alternatively, if this line bombs (and I'm not at all saying it will), it will be a truly massive albatross hanging over the DFL, Hennepin county area and the Met Council for decades. This line has faced a tremendous amount of pushback and second-guessing, the worst case scenario would be to validate that.

amiller92
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby amiller92 » March 10th, 2017, 1:03 pm

It will be great for the suburban office campuses. The question to me is how many riders that actually is.




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EOst
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby EOst » March 10th, 2017, 1:21 pm

If only someone had ever studied that question...

twincitizen
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby twincitizen » March 10th, 2017, 1:45 pm

acs wrote:
March 10th, 2017, 1:02 pm
Alternatively, if this line bombs (and I'm not at all saying it will), it will be a truly massive albatross hanging over the DFL, Hennepin county area and the Met Council for decades. This line has faced a tremendous amount of pushback and second-guessing, the worst case scenario would be to validate that.
Glass half full: One backhanded "benefit" of this project running into ~3 years of delays is that a lot of development along the route has already happened or is in the planning stages and will be open well in advance of the line. Once the FFGA is signed and shovels are in the ground, I think we can expect to see many more development projects announced up and down the entire route. Everything that has been built or in the pipeline so far is moving forward without the line even being a done deal...just imagine the pace once there are tracks being laid. Several of the planned park & ride lots/ramps are integrated into development proposals for day one rather than opening as standalone lots with future development TBD. That should boost "year one" ridership to levels not projected for 5-10 years.

Glass half-empty: if the economy hits a major snag, ridership could very well fall short if there are fewer jobs for people to travel to. Specifically if downtown Mpls employers shed thousands of jobs or if United/Optum has to shed thousands of jobs due to Trumpcare throwing millions off their health insurance, which is a very real possibility. If this opens in 2021 and ridership is lighter than expected, the DFL will absolutely be punished for it in the 2022 mid-terms. Those attack ads write themselves. State general fund support of metro transit operations will zeroed out and Hennepin & Ramsey counties will have to fund LRT (and bus) operations with their sales tax revenue, putting an end to any future expansions.

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Anondson
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Re: Southwest LRT (Green Line Extension)

Postby Anondson » March 13th, 2017, 7:56 pm

SWLRT critics accuse the Minnehaha Watershed District of conflict of interest in voting to permit SWLRT because the watershed district stands to gain financially because the Cold Storage site is next to a future station.

http://www.startribune.com/southwest-li ... 416052894/

All the members of the watershed district are appointed by the County or something. I dunno. I'm not sure on what ground the opponents believe the watershed district should have denied the permit, were it possible to have watershed district voters without an alleged conflict of interest.

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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby RailBaronYarr » March 16th, 2017, 8:48 am

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tr ... 017/03/15/
The Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Program, known as “New Starts,” would also be curtailed. Only projects that are already locked in with formal federal commitments, known as “full funding grant agreements,” would get money.

The budget would also cut nearly a half-billion dollars from one of the most popular federal transportation programs, known as TIGER grants.

twincitizen
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Re: Public Transit News and Current Happenings

Postby twincitizen » March 16th, 2017, 9:37 am

While a great many aspects of Trump's budget will not be reflected in the House GOP budget, completely axing New Starts is something they probably agree on and Congress could actually pass.

Oh Southwest, god damnit. The FFGA could have been executed nearly two years ago had there not been the repeated delays and lawsuits by the Kenilworth crowd. I suppose there is still a very slim chance the FFGA gets signed this summer (i.e. before the new budget takes effect), but I wouldn't put any money on it.


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