Proposed funds will support transit and environmental initiatives

Date: Thursday, February 22, 2018

Gov. Mark Dayton has advanced three Metropolitan Council initiatives in his 2018 bonding bill. The major line items include:

  • $50 million for regional bus rapid transit projects (like the A Line).

  • $50 million for the Heywood II Bus Garage.

  • $5 million for a Council partnership with Metro Cities to reduce municipal infiltration and inflow (I&I), which is clean water seeping into the wastewater treatment system.

The funds are part of Dayton’s overall $1.5 billion bonding proposal. Most of the money is focused on restoring aging buildings in Minnesota’s public higher education system, upgrading sewer and water infrastructure, improving and repairing state buildings, and investing in road, bridge, and transit infrastructure and affordable housing.

Transit investments needed for growing region

Ridership in the Snelling Avenue corridor is up more than 30 percent since the advent of A Line rapid bus service.The two transit investments are focused on meeting the growing need of our region and the increased demand for transit. We know our region will add 700,000 more people between now and 2040 ─ which is nearly the entire state of North Dakota moving to the 7-county metro ─ and with that will come an 80% increase on transit demand. 

The $50 million for busway corridor projects would help develop these BRT lines:

  • B Line (Lake St.-Marshall Ave.) – for design and engineering toward service in 2020.

  • C Line (Penn Ave., Minneapolis) – for up to 10 BRT stations beginning service in 2019.

  • D Line (Chicago-Emerson Ave. from Brooklyn Center to Minneapolis to Bloomington) – for up to 90 BRT stations beginning service in 2021.

  • Environmental work and preliminary engineering for additional BRT corridors.

  • Design and construction of express bus corridors, including express bus improvements related to the Orange Line (Bloomington-Minneapolis; Hennepin/Dakota County) and the Gold Line (East Metro; Ramsey/Washington County)

The other large bonding investment supports a new facility adjacent to the existing Heywood Bus Garage to include storage for 185 buses, maintenance, fueling, washing, cleaning, administrative offices and parking. The total project cost is projected to be $109.6 million.

The new facility will provide key support to our transit system as it is expanded to meet the needs of the growing region.

$5 million for wastewater treatment efficiency

Project funds will be used to assist communities served by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services to invest in public infrastructure projects that reduce infiltration and inflow (I/I) into the local and regional wastewater collection systems.

I/I  (clear water getting into wastewater pipes) has diverse sources, methods of entry, and effects on the wastewater collection system. From both public and private sources, I/I causes major challenges in the region, including:

  • Public and environmental health concerns

  • Higher costs to communities and utility ratepayers

  • Loss of the region’s valuable water resources

The Council’s I/I program has been a successful incentive for communities to complete work to reduce the problem.


Posted In: Council News, Planning, Transportation

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