You’ve got questions about Southwest light rail. I know you do, because plenty of you pepper me with them every time this column makes mention of the biggest, most controversial transit project yet in these fair Twin Cities.
And you thought I was ignoring you! Not a bit. Here are some answers I’ve collected this summer at a spate of Southwest-related meetings that culminated last week in a politically risky maneuver to secure the final $144 million funding required for the $2 billion project.
Why put more mass transit in the affluent southwestern portion of the metro area?
Because that’s where much of the region’s growth in jobs and population is forecast to occur. The biggest concentration of job vacancies in the region is already along the proposed Southwest line (aka the Green Line extension). The Metropolitan Council’s nose-counters say that 175,000 jobs already exist near the proposed line, and 64,000 more will be there by 2035.