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4/8/2002



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Minnesota commuter-rail planners await matching state funds


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Northstar Corridor Development Authority (NCDA) officials are resting a little easier now that their commuter rail plans again have been rated as a "recommended" project in the list of transit fund allocations recently released by Federal Transit Authority. But only a little easier.



The recommendation, along with President Bush’s inclusion of the project in his 2003 budget, means Northstar’s likely to receive $147 million in federal funds — if Minnesota’s state legislature approves $120 million in state funds for the project.



Of 27 projects FTA listed as recommended, 14 already have financial commitments from their respective states. And the current seven-year federal transportation budget cycle is due to end this year. If Northstar doesn’t receive matching state funds, the project unlikely would be included in the next seven-year cycle, said Tim Yantos, NCDA’s Northstar Project Director in a statement prepared April 5.


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