Southwest Light Rail is Transit Done Wrong, at Enormous Cost

The following commentary by Mary Pattock,  a board member of the Lakes and Parks Alliance of Minneapolis, was published in the Star Tribune on September 1, 2016.

Southwest Light Rail is Transit Done Wrong, at Enormous Cost

The sensible things to do: Stop, cut losses, look for alternatives.

Anyone “following the money” on Southwest LRT quickly arrives at the front door of the CEOs and developers who showed up en masse at Gov. Mark Dayton’s meeting last week.

What’s not for them to like about the project? They’d get a fantastically expensive public utility running up to their front door, and they’d get it free — thanks to Minnesota taxpayers. One wonders if they’d still be on board if they had to pay their fair share, say, a surtax on the increased profits and property values they expect to enjoy if it is built.

Southwest light rail is not your garden-variety government project. At $1.9 billion, it’s the most expensive public works project in Minnesota history. Its 14.5-mile route would cost twice as much as the Vikings stadium and two and a half times as much as the $720 million New Horizons space probe to Pluto.

To continue reading, click on the link to the Star Tribune

Southwest light rail is transit done wrong, at enormous cost