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Rail, enhanced bus options recommended for Minneapolis Midtown Corridor

A study of transit alternatives in the Minneapolis Midtown Corridor recommends a combination of rail in the Midtown Greenway and enhanced bus service on Lake Street as the best long-term transit solution for the route.

The locally preferred alternative was approved last week by the Policy Advisory Committee for the Midtown Corridor Alternative Analysis, a group that includes community and business representatives, as well as elected and appointed officials from the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and City of Minneapolis, Metro Transit officials said in a press release.

The alternatives analysis considered the benefits, costs and impacts of creating a 4.4-mile transit way between the Blue Line’s Lake Street/Midtown Station and the proposed West Lake Station on the Green Line Extension. The recommended transit improvements will be advanced as funding becomes available.

Rail would run immediately south of the Midtown Greenway bike trail. The locally preferred alternative calls for trips to be operated with single-car trains. A future analysis will identify the vehicle type and double/single-track segments, Metro Transit officials said.

Depending on track design, enhanced bus and rail are estimated to cost $235 million to $270 million to build and $15 million a year to operate, they said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 2/18/2014