Central Corridor light rail links Twin Cities to each other, and to opportunity
Over the weekend the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul celebrated completion of the Central Corridor light rail line, the single largest public works project in the history of Minnesota. The new route --known now as the METRO Green Line-- links the cities along one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the region and will significantly improve access to jobs and other opportunities for thousands of residents.
A project like the METRO Green Line doesn't happen without cooperation and coordination, and this one was made possible by an extraordinary partnership among state, county, city, and federal governments as well as local organizations and community members.
Ribbon-cutting for the METRO Green Line; photo courtesy Pioneer Press / John Autey
The Obama Administration is proud to have provided nearly $480 million that has created thousands of good jobs for construction workers in Minnesota building this long-awaited link.
And not only does the new line connect people to opportunities--like jobs and education--it will also save them time spent in traffic and money spent at the gas pump.
The Central Corridor has also been an engine of economic development; since the line was announced, it has helped attract more than a hundred economic development projects that are planned or being built and generated billions of dollars in private investment.
President Obama and Transportation Secretary Foxx see new Green Line light rail vehicles while visiting St. Paul's Union Depot.
This is the kind of strategic investment in public transit that brings enduring jobs and improves quality of life for generations to come.
But to keep making those kinds of investments –in Minnesota and across the country– the Federal government must provide long-term, predictable funding that’s sufficient to meet the needs of a quickly growing nation. That’s why Secretary Foxx sent Congress the GROW AMERICA Act.
GROW AMERICA is a bold plan that would provide $302 billion for transportation over four years, close the looming shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund, and help rebuild and maintain aging infrastructure –all without adding to the budget deficit.
Under GROW AMERICA, public transit would see a 70 percent increase in funding, making it possible to continue investing in projects like the METRO Green Line that expand services. It would also allow us to address the $86 billion backlog in maintenance and repairs facing transit systems across country.
That’s critical, because today transit ridership is at its highest level in generations, and with an expanding population that trend will only increase. The only way to meet that demand is to balance expansion and upkeep so transit remains safe and reliable for everyone who needs it.
GROW AMERICA would make that possible.