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The Source for Public Transportation News and Analysis May 6, 2011
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Rogoff Presents FFGA Funds for Twin Cities

Peter M. Rogoff, administrator of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), visited St. Paul, MN, April 26 to present a ceremonial check for half the cost of Metro Transit’s Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line between Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Full Funding Grant Agreement between FTA and the Metropolitan Council contractually commits the federal government to paying $478 million, or half the total cost of $957 million.

“The federal grant commitment of $478 million is the largest federal grant ever received in Minnesota for a transportation project,” said Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh. “With this agreement with the Federal Transit Administration, the Twin Cities region will have generated more than $1 billion in FTA grants, including $364 million for Hiawatha [light rail], $157 million for Northstar [commuter rail], and $478 million for Central Corridor.”

“This project truly embodies the president’s vision for winning the future through infrastructure investment. It will create thousands of construction jobs now while paving the way for many thousands of jobs that will come to the Twin Cities through the economic development successes surrounding the new rail line,” Rogoff said during the event at the Harold E. Stassen Building in St. Paul. The building overlooks the light rail route and the future site of the Capitol East Station.

The remainder of funding for the Central Corridor comes from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, 30 percent; the state, 9 percent; Ramsey County, 7 percent; Hennepin County, 3 percent; and less than 1 percent from the Metropolitan Council, the city of St. Paul, and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative.

Metro Transit anticipates that weekday ridership on the line will exceed 40,000 by 2030, providing access to nearly 300,000 jobs in the two downtowns, at the University of Minnesota, and in the neighborhoods in between.

The 11-mile Central Corridor LRT line will return light rail service to University Avenue, where trolleys operated continuously from December 1890 to Oct. 31, 1953.

Initial planning activities for the new line date back to 1981, and service is scheduled to begin in 2014. The light rail line will connect with the Hiawatha LRT line at the Metrodome Station in Minneapolis and with Northstar commuter rail at the new Target Field Station.


Participants in the FFGA signing for Metro Transit’s Central Corridor Light Rail Transit line include, from left: Metro Transit General Manager Brian Lamb; Program Director Mark Fuhrmann of New Starts rail projects in the Twin Cities; Metropolitan Council Regional Administrator Pat Born; FTA Administrator Peter M. Rogoff; Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak; state Rep. Alice Hausman; St. Paul City Council Member Melvin Carter; St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman; Ramsey County Commissioner Toni Carter; Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton; Met Council Chair Susan Haigh; Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, also head of the Counties Transit Improvement Board; Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN); Ramsey County Commissioner Jim McDonough; former Met Council Chair Peter Bell; and Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega.

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