Today, the Obama Administration announced that the proposed Southwest Light Rail line from downtown Minneapolis to Eden Prairie will receive expedited federal permitting. The Southwest line is one of a handful of transit projects around the country to receive faster permitting due to its recognized value and importance. The announcement is a clear signal that the federal government is a firm advocate and partner for the Southwest line and is ready to proceed with the next phase of the project. The expedited permitting is expected to shave several months off the permitting timeline, reduce some costs, and ensure transparency and public input.
The Southwest line still needs $118 million from state sources, which we hope will be a top priority in the 2013 legislative session.