Minneapolis — Federal Grant for Streetcar Study
Rail Transit Online, January 2011
A $900,000 FTA grant has been awarded to the City of Minneapolis to help fund an alternatives analysis of transit modes on Nicollet and Central avenues. City officials favor modern streetcars but high-quality bus service such as BRT will also be studied. The city will pay its share of the $1.2-million cost using $300,000 left over from an earlier streetcar feasibility study.
The route to be analyzed stretches north
on Central to Columbia Heights and south on Nicollet to 46th Street. Mayor R.T. Rybak, an enthusiastic streetcar supporter, said there is great promise to strengthen commercial activity on the Nicollet Mall and throughout downtown. "The tax base improves dramatically along streetcar lines," Rybak told the Star Tribune. The city will shortly begin seeking a consultant to perform the study.
Meanwhile, adjacent Dakota County's rail
authority has been awarded a $1.18-million grant to examine transit options along Robert Street between St. Paul and Rosemount. The study will examine potential routes and modes, including streetcars and buses.
The two grants are part of a $25.7-million federal program to aid communities in 16 states, and to help the District of Columbia evaluate and select the best options for new or expanded transit systems.