2008 Transit Implementation Idea

In early 2008, after years of failed attempts, the Minnesota Legislature passed a significant transportation funding bill aimed at reversing the decline in state road and bridge conditions, metro area mobility, and transit corridor funding.  The bill had enough support to survive a veto by the Governor.

A major transit revenue generator will be a 1/4 cent metro area sales tax, subject to approval by the core 7 metro area counties, that will be distributed by a joint powers board to build and operate regional transit corridors.  5 of the 7 metro area counties have voted to implement the tax and join the board (Scott and Carver Counties being the hold-outs).

Below is an idea of mine on what could be done with the 1/4 cent sales tax through 2030.  This is a very rough idea, and some of my numbers below could be off.  There are several assumptions I've made:

This results in $75 million per year * 22 years * 3 (for other revenue sources) = $4,950 million.  For simplicity, we can assume around $5 billion will be available for corridor construction through 2030.

Here's my thoughts on what should be constructed with that $5 billion, arranged by mode:

Mode Type Corridor Description Rough Cost
Light Rail Transit Central Corridor:  downtown Minneapolis to downtown St. Paul $1 billion
Light Rail Transit Southwest Corridor:  downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie (assumes Alt 3A) $1.2 billion
Light Rail Transit Northwest/Bottineau Corridor:  downtown Minneapolis to Osseo $1 billion
Light Rail Transit I-94 East Corridor:  downtown St. Paul to 3M HQ $500 million
Commuter Rail Red Rock Corridor:  downtown Minneapolis to Hastings $310 million
Bus Rapid Transit Additional improvements to I-35W and Cedar BRT corridors $100 million
Bus Rapid Transit Northeast Diagonal Corridor:  I-35W towards Forest Lake/MN 36 towards Stillwater $200 million
Bus Rapid Transit Riverview Corridor:  downtown St. Paul to MSP Airport/Mall Of America $200 million
Streetcar Midtown Greenway:  West Lake to Lake/Hiawatha $75 million
Streetcar Nicollet Ave:  downtown to 46th St $105 million
All Miscellaneous Improvements $200 million

I will come up with maps as part of a future update.

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Page last modified 31 October, 2009