Twin Cities Chooses Light Rail Over BRT
After years of study and public input, the decision of whether to use light rail or bus rapid transit for a central corridor line linking downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul was finally resolved. After a period of short discussion on the high costs of light rail compared to bus rapid transit, the Metropolitan Council decided to recommend light rail as the preferred mode of transit.
Though the 15-2 vote was hardly close, there remains significant concern over the estimated $930 million price tag for the line. A bus rapid transit line would run about one-third of the cost of the light rail line.
"I don't believe that a council that is paring back bus service, raising fees in two of the last years to ride that bus and train, should be looking at a capital expenditure like this that clearly is, I think, desirable, but maybe not affordable, versus bus rapid transit which seems to be very affordable and very portable," said council member Annette Meeks, one of two "no" votes against light rail.