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Transit -

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Back To: Citizens Guide to St. Paul

Central Corridor Project

One of the most hotly debated transit issues in the St. Paul Issues Forum, are tentative plans to put a light rail line down University Avenue (see map). This is a reoccuring issue in the St. Paul Issues Forum.

Light Rail Questions & Answers


Tram lines that use existing right of way (not seperate from traffic):

Red Rock Line


Here is a summary of the August 2004 discussion:

Within our discussion - 4 possible routes were mentioned or discussed:

  1. University Ave. Corridor (Street Level)
    • Elevated University Line
    • Submerged University Line
  2. I-94 Cooridor
  3. Short Line - West Seventh, Grand, Merriam Park, Lake Street, Warehouse District
  4. BN rail corridor - to the North End, State Fairgrounds, St Paul Campus, Minneapolis Campus, and over to the Northstar station. (Part of Red Rock Line)

Some folks aren't interested in limiting the discussion to Hiawatha type light rail, other options mentioned include:

  1. University Ave. Trolley System or ?
  2. Express Monorail down the I-94 Cooridor
  3. PRT - Personal Rapid Transit
  4. Commuter Rail - "Heavy Rail"
  5. Cable Car System (overhead cables?)

Concerns Raised About University Light Rail Line:

  1. Effect of loosing one lane of traffic
  2. Availability of on-street parking
  3. Disruption to community (Don't forget the mistakes made building I-94)
  4. Just replaces Buses with Trains - No real increase in ridership
  5. PRT is a better option
  6. Better places for limited Resources
  7. Increases congestion on and around University Ave.
  8. Blocks ability for cars to cross University except at main streets
  9. Right idea, but wrong route
  10. Wrong route through University Campus
  11. Bottleneck at Snelling Ave.

Reason People Gave To Support University Ave. Light Rail Line

  1. #16 Bus is way too slow and the #50 Bus is timed wrong
  2. it COULD build up the area substantially. "Economic Development"
  3. Local (auto) Drivers are among the rudest and most poorly trained
  4. Reduce dependance on fossil fuels
  5. University has the greatest transit use (buses) of any corridor (thus justifies light rail)
  6. Minimize (reduce) pollution and traffic
  7. Reduces Burden of Cars on Infrastructure
  8. "We need to actually attract people to use a transit system that's clean, attractive, convenient and economical, and will one that will economically benefit local businesses. I think that could be University Avenue....."
  9. We need a Network - One Line Isn't Enough
  10. "I can't wait until I can trade in my car & auto insurance payment and spend my money on hanging out in local restaurants, etc. That would be an extra $400+ per month!"

Reasons for Support of I-94 Route

  1. I-94 Could Support Fast Train with Limited Stops fed by other buses or trolleys.
  2. Plenty of space
  3. Reduce disruption to Midway community
  4. Fastest possible service between downtowns
  5. Keep traffic flowing on University

Reasons for Opposition to I-94 Route

  1. There is very little commercial development along the route that would benefit
  2. Doesn't serve specific destinations not pedestrian friendly
  3. Would require MAJOR redesign of Freeway


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