Minneapolis — Minneapolis Picks Streetcars
The Star Tribune reports that in September a committee of the Minneapolis City Council endorsed streetcars as the favored mode for the Nicollet Avenue corridor. The full Council was expected to confirm the committee's decision the following week.
The so-called starter line would be 3.4-miles long, would cost $200 million and would run up Nicollet Avenue from Lake Street crossing the Mississippi River via the Hennepin Avenue bridge.
Councillors reportedly favor streetcars over bus rapid transit as they expect the permanent rails and ties would spur economic development along the route.
The City expects about $60 milion of the cost of the line to come from a "value capture district" designated by the state legislature. Additional funding would come from state or federal sources.
Though the council supports streetcars, a survey of voters commissioned by the Star Tribune earlier in 2013 found that 39 percent of voters favored the $200 million project, 36 percent opposed it, and 24 percent were on the fence.