Funding for Transit in Minnesota, California Preserve Federal Budget Status Quo

Just when all seemed lost, in terms of federal funding for projects like the Southwest Light Rail Transit in the Twin Cities, the federal budget came though with needed funding.

2 minute read

May 13, 2017, 1:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden / Shutterstock

Peter Callaghan dissects the implications of the 2017 federal budget's inclusion of funding for the Southwest Light Rail Transit (SWLRT) project from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie.

According to Callaghan's premise, whether the federal funding was big news depends on which side of the SWLRT debate you're on. Supporters had cause for celebration in what had previously seemed like it would be a bleak season for federal transit funding.

For opponents, though, the news was dismissed as a blip in a long-running battle that is far from over. And with so many hurdles left to leap, they argued, the project’s relatively paltry allocation in the budget, $10 million, was hardly cause for a victory lap, especially if you account for the hostility of the state Legislature and the uncertainty surrounding one of the key local funding mechanisms.

Callaghan decides that the $10 million in funding was "probably: of course" a big deal, for several reasons. First of all, the budget preserves the transit status quo (California received transit funding too, in the form of $100 million for Caltrain electrification and $800 million total for nine projects around the state).

The article includes more about the immediate next steps and the long-term prospects for the Southwest Light Rail Transit project, so residents of the region can know what to work for as the Trump Administration gets more legislative experience under its belt. 

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 in MinnPost

View down New York City alleyway at nighttime

Red Cities, Blue Cities, and Crime

Homicides rose across the nation in 2020 and 2021. But did they rise equally in all cities, or was the situation worse in some than in others?

March 12, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

babyt Boomer Homeowners

The Shifting Boomer Bulge: More Bad News for America’s Housing Crisis?

In the first of a two-part series, PlaceMakers’ Ben Brown interviews housing guru Arthur C. Nelson on the sweeping demographic changes complicating the housing market.

March 12, 2023 - PlaceShakers and NewsMakers

Yellow on black "Expect Delays" traffic sign

A Serious Critique of Congestion Costs and Induced Vehicle Travel Impacts

Some highway advocates continue to claim that roadway expansions are justified to reduce traffic congestion. That's not what the research shows. It's time to stop obsessing over congestion and instead strive for efficient accessibility.

March 14, 2023 - Todd Litman

A toll payment facility in Florida.

Tolling All Lanes

Bay Area transportation planners are studying a radical idea to reduce traffic congestion and fund driving alternatives: tolling all lanes on a freeway. Even more radical, the plan considers tolling parallel roads.

1 hour ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Close-up of person holding up smartphone next to contactless fare reading device on bus

Federal SMART Grants Awarded for Transportation Safety, Equity Projects

The grant program focuses on the use of technology to improve safety, accessibility, and efficiency in transportation.

2 hours ago - U.S. Department Of Transportation

Seattle Transit

Fare Enforcement Upheld by Washington Supreme Court

But using armed police to enforce fare payment is less than ideal in the eyes of the top court in the state of Washington.

3 hours ago - Crosscut

Planner II

City of Greenville

Planner I

City of Greenville

Rural Projects Coordinator (RARE AmeriCorps Member)

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps Program

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.