Twin Cities’ Central Corridor Light Rail Gets a Big Boost

    Here’s some great news for a transit project happening in Minneapolis-St. Paul that has brought together transportation and equity advocates in not only creating neighborhood connectivity but also establishing rail access in and out of lower-income neighborhoods. Those areas were not part of the original concept for the Central Corridor Light Rail Transit, but following a successful campaign, equity advocates certainly have something to be happy with.

    The news? Roughly half the project’s $941 million price tag will be offset by a $460 million FTA grant that was approved by Congress in February. According to a recent report, “the Central Corridor line will open for business in 2014 and haul 41,000 riders a week by 2030. Construction may create something along the order of 3,400 private-sector jobs.”

    We recently included CCLRT in an article that ran in the winter issue of Shelterforce on TOD and organizing, but the project is central to an article written for our summer 2011 issue by the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability about a coalition, Stops For Us, that was instrumental in the effort to get those three lower-income neighborhoods serviced by the LRT. Those stops at Hamline Avenue, Victoria Street, and Western Avenue, turned out to be of major concern to residents when those three were left out of the original LRT concept.

    According to the upcoming article, set to appear in our summer issue in June, the missing stations had been part of a six-year-long debate over “who would — and should — benefit from the nearly $1 billion public investment in Central Corridor LRT.”

    This is a great, and complex story worth following. Also, if you know of similar campaigns related to TOD, and housing/transportation equity, let’s hear about them. Write to

    Matthew Brian Hersh served as senior editor at Shelterforce from March 2008 to October 2012. He studied English at Rutgers University and has spent his professional career in journalism, policy, and politics.


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