U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates Opening of Central Corridor Light Rail Line in St. Paul-Minneapolis Region

U.S. Department of Transportation Celebrates Opening of Central Corridor Light Rail Line in St. Paul-Minneapolis Region

6/14/2014
Contact: Angela Gates
202-366-3669

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy Peter Rogoff today celebrated the grand opening of the Central Corridor Light Rail Line. The new line will link the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis along one of the most heavily traveled corridors in the region and significantly improve access to jobs and other opportunities for thousands of residents. Acting Under Secretary Rogoff was joined by Governor Mark Dayton, Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Representatives Keith Ellison and Betty McCollum, and other state and local officials.

“The Obama Administration is proud to partner with Minnesota to bring more world class transportation options to the Twin Cities and help transform the local economy with a project that has created thousands of jobs and attracted nearly $2.5 billion dollars in private investment,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We’ve introduced the GROW AMERICA Act to provide more long-term funding so other states may also continue to meet the rising demand for more and better transportation choices.”

The Obama Administration recently unveiled the GROW AMERICA Act, a bold $302 billion, four-year national vision to address an aging transportation network and a growing population. In February, President Obama visited the restored Union Depot in downtown St. Paul to announce his transportation budget proposal.

The 11-mile Central Corridor light rail line, also known as the METRO Green Line, includes 18 new stations that will connect many neighborhoods along the line and provide improved access to four of the largest employment areas in the state—the downtown areas of Minneapolis and St. Paul, the University of Minnesota and the Midway District—as well as the State Capitol complex. The line also connects riders to the METRO Blue Line, which serves other popular destinations such as Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. At Target Field Station, Green and Blue Line riders can connect to the Northstar Commuter Rail Line.

“With more than 3.2 million residents in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area and thousands more expected in the coming decades, expanding transportation choices is critical to the region’s success,” said Acting Under Secretary Rogoff. “Projects like the new Green Line will make a huge difference for hardworking families, students, and seniors who deserve reliable transportation options to get to work, school and other opportunities.”

The FTA provided $474 million through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program as well as $4.5 million in other DOT funds toward the $957 million project. The remaining cost is covered by state and local funding sources.

The Metropolitan Council estimates the new light rail line will serve more than 40,000 weekday passengers by the year 2030.

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