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Minneapolis - January 2011

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Minneapolis — Streetcar Study Slowed

Rail Transit Online, January 2011

A $1.2-million alternatives analysis of streetcars and other transit modes in the downtown area of Minneapolis is unlikely to begin until early 2012, more than a year after a $900,000 FTA grant was given to the city.

The delay is being caused by the usual red tape and bureaucracy; the grant wasn't actually awarded until 10 weeks after it was announced last December. It was only then that two required agreements could be drafted and only after they were signed was the way cleared to prepare a request for proposals seeking a consultant to perform the study. The latter process is now underway, with the winner expected to be selected by year's end. The city's $300,000 share of the alternatives analysis will use money left over from an earlier feasibility study.

The work, which will compare streetcars with high-quality bus service such as BRT on Nicollet and Central Avenues, should be completed by mid-2013, according to a report filed with the city council. Elected officials including Mayor R.T. Rybak have already endorsed the streetcar proposal.


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