Whether you like it or not, light rail is the talk of the metro at the moment.
Businesses along the Central Corridor have another year of construction to look forward to.
St. Louis Park residents are protesting the proposed relocation of freight rail in respone to the Southwest Transitway project as supporters continue to seek the necessary funding.
In Golden Valley, residents are waiting to see what their City Council will do when it comes to supporting a resolution that would send a light rail train through their community. Many Golden Valley residents urged the City Council to vote no on the resolution that would allow more studies to be conducted about the Bottineau Transitway’s locally preferred alternative (LPA).
Meanwhile, the Hiawatha line continues to carry riders between the Mall of America and Minneapolis’ downtown.
In all, the Metropolitan Council’s transit plan envisions four light rail lines by 2030.
With so many miles of track on the table, keeping tabs on the details can be daunting. To make it a little easier, Patch has collected all the specifics in one place.
The table below contains information on cost, ridership, length and more for the four lines closest to completion. We’d love to hear what you think about each line.
Which ones do you think you’ll use? How do you think they’ll affect the corridors through which they travel? Which ones make sense? Take a look at the details and then share your thoughts in the comments below.
(Details for projects in the planning stages are subject to change before they're finished.)
Hiawatha Central Southwest Bottineau
LPA Co-locate LPA Alternate Build cost $715 million
$1.195 billion $1.072 billion
Annual Operating cost$18.7 million✝ $21 million $25.4 million
$25.4 million $22.4 to $24.1 million $23.7 million to $25.1 million Build Start 2001 2010 2015 to 2017
2015 to 2017
Operations Start 2004 2014 2018 2018 See Sources
Length 12 miles 11 miles 16.4 miles
About 13 miles
About 13 miles
Number of Stations 19*** 23*** 18* 18* 12
Cities on the line Minneapolis Minneapolis, St. Paul Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Hopkins, St. Louis Park, Minneapolis
Same as the LPA
Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park Expected weekday ridership 31,333 January through October 2012
More than 40,000 by 2030
28,700 by 2030
28,700 by 2030 27,600 (A-C-D1) or 27,000 (B-C-D1) by 2030
27,200 (A-C-D2) or 26,000 (B-C-D2) by 2030
Number of properties acquired
0 132 125 175 0
Properties with severe residential impacts from noise N/A
0ǂ 201 267 384 277**
- Southwest LRT: Information came from the project's draft environmental impact statement and the Metropolitan Council.
- Bottineau Transitway: Information came from the project's draft environmental impact statement scoping documents, specifically the alignment D1-D2 comparison matrix. Hennepin County’s Engineering and Transit Planning Manager Joseph Gladke told Patch that he couldn't estimate start times for construction of the line. "The project has a long way to go and many hurdles to clear before we will know those dates," Gladke said.
- Central Corridor: Property information came from Met Council spokesperson Laura Baenen. Operating costs came from the Met Council's Financial Management Plan for the Central Corridor, published in 2008. All other information came from fact sheets published on the line's project website.
- Hiawatha Line: Information from Metrot Transit's "Before & After Study: Hiawatha Light Rail Line," Metro Transit spokesperson John Siqveland, and fact sheets published on the Metro Transit website.
* Includes the Target Field station.
** Does not include 123 assumed property aquisitions on Penn Avenue.
*** Includes five stations in downtown Minneapolis shared between the Hiawatha Line and the Central Corridor.
✝ Data from 2006.
ǂ During the preliminary engineering and final design process, engineers found ways to mitigate numerous noise issues identified by community members and the project's environmental impact assessment process.