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 corridor.
The recommendation, known as a Locally Preferred Alternative, was approved February 12 by the Policy Advisory Committee (PAC) for the Midtown Corridor Alternatives Analysis. The group includes community and business representatives, as well as elected and appointed officials from the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County and city of Minneapolis.
The alternatives analysis considered the benefits, costs and impacts of creating a 4.4-mile transitway between the Blue Line’s Lake Street/Midtown Station and the proposed West Lake Station on the Green Line Extension (Southwest LRT).
“As the Lake Street area becomes more popular as a tourist destination, as well as a great place to live, work, eat, bike and shop, it is vital that we provide faster and more efficient transportation,” said Ron Lezama, a PAC member and former chairman of the Latino Economic Development Center, located on Lake Street.
Rail would run immediately south of the Midtown Greenway bike trail. The LPA calls for trips to be operated with single-car trains. Future analysis will identify the vehicle type and double/single-track segments.
“We’re very excited about the idea of improving transportation in the Midtown Corridor,” said Joyce Wisdom, a PAC member and executive director of the Lake Street Council. “People really want to be able to move along Lake Street without parking and un-parking.”
Depending on track design, enhanced bus and rail are estimated to cost between $235 million and $270 million to build and $15 million a year to operate.