The Hiawatha light rail line in downtown Minneapolis, MN is already popular. Photo by Matt Johnson via Flickr.
Leaders in the Twin Cities know that rail transit will be a key component of the cities’ future economic competitiveness, and they’re eager to catch-up with their regional peers in creating a comprehensive transit network.
Since opening in 2004, the Twin Cities’ only light rail line, the Hiawatha Line, has far ridership exceeded expectations. Construction has already begun on the region’s second line, the Central Corridor Line, which will connect downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul and is expected to be completed in 2014. Now, attention is shifting to the Twin Cities’ southwest corridor, home to large corporate office parks and wide highways, where the planned Southwest Corridor Light Rail Transit line has the potential to not only change how people get around, but also the shape of the region’s future development.