Met Council head to promote Central Corridor in D.C.by Laura Yuen, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The head of the Metropolitan Council is traveling to Washington D.C. Wednesday to promote a planned light-rail line connecting Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Federal funding for the nearly $1 billion Central Corridor project has yet to be secured. And Metropolitan Council Chairwoman Sue Haigh acknowledges that some Republican members of Congress are calling for the elimination of a program that helps pay for new light-rail lines.
"The House has shown it is not as enthusiastic about these sorts of transit investments and transportation investments as has the president or the Senate," Haigh said. "But I do think there is a unified perspective in Congress that these are exactly the sorts of transportation investments we should be making to get people back to work and to stimulate economic growth."
She said she remains optimistic a full-funding grant agreement will be signed this spring.
"I'm there to carry the message that this project is really moving forward, it's passed every funding criteria test along the way, and it's going to be a tremendous opportunity for growth for this region," she said.
Work has already begun on the Central Corridor line.
Haigh plans to meet with congressional staff and officials from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) including Therese McMillan, deputy director of the FTA and Matthew Welbes, executive director of the FTA.