The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration (FTA) on Sept. 14 announced a $928.8 million grant agreement to the Metropolitan Council for the Southwest Light Rail Transit Project in Minneapolis, Minn. The project extends an existing light rail line from downtown Minneapolis to the southwestern suburbs in a corridor where population, employment and traffic congestion are growing rapidly.
"FTA is proud to join our partners in Minnesota to improve public transportation and support economic recovery in the Twin Cities," said FTA Deputy Administrator K. Jane Williams. "Commuters in this busy corridor can now look forward to faster and more efficient transit service connecting them to major employers downtown and in the suburbs as well as other key transit lines."
This 14.5-mi. extension of the METRO Green Line project includes 16 stations from the existing Target Field light rail station in downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie in Hennepin County, serving the suburban municipalities of Minnetonka, Hopkins and St. Louis Park. The total project cost is $2 billion with $928.8 million in funding committed through FTA's Capital Investment Grants (CIG) Program.
Williams added that "this federal investment is an economic boost for the Minneapolis area, creating jobs which will help these communities recover from the COVID-19 public health emergency."
FTA's CIG program provides funding for major transit infrastructure projects nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for consideration to receive program funds.
With this announcement, FTA has advanced funding for 40 new CIG projects throughout the nation under the Trump administration since Jan. 20, 2017, totaling approximately $10.7 billion in funding commitments.