Connect the Blue Line Update

Connect the Blue Line Update
Posted on 04/04/2019
See below for a news release from the Connect Blue Line Now! Coalition:

Successful trip to Washington D.C. to advocate to Connect the Blue Line

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota – (April 2, 2019) The Connect Blue Line Now! Coalition met with Minnesota representatives in Washington D.C. to push for support of the METRO Blue Line Extension (BLRT).

The Coalition met with:
• Senator Amy Klobuchar’s staff
• Senator Tina Smith
• Congressman Dean Phillips
• Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
• Congresswoman Betty McCollum’s staff
• Congressman Tom Emmer’s staff
• Congresswoman Angie Craig’s staff
• Matt Welbes, Federal Transit Administration Executive Director and other FTA staff

The METRO Blue Line Extension will operate from Downtown Minneapolis through North Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale, Crystal and Brooklyn Park, also serving the adjacent communities of New Hope and Brooklyn Center. It continues to be a priority project for the Northwestern cities of the metro area.

“The goal of this project is to continue to drive economic investment, increase equity, access to jobs, improve transportation options and reduce racial and economic disparities in North Minneapolis and in the Northwest Metro,” said Nelima Sitate Munene, Executive Director of ACER and a member of the Blue Line Coalition.

The line will have 11 new stations in addition to the Target Field Station where it will continue as the METRO Blue Line, providing one-seat rides to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America. It will connect Minneapolis and the region’s northwest communities with existing and future LRT on the METRO Green Line, bus rapid transit on the

METRO Orange Line and METRO Red Line, the Northstar commuter rail line and local and express bus routes.

Allina Health Representative Alison Pence also attended the trip to Washington, D.C. and talked about the need for better access to Allina’s Courage Kenny Rehabilitation facility and how the Golden Valley Road station will be a huge benefit.

“The station will be close enough to the facility to provide patients with transit options in addition to Metro Mobility to access care. Having reliable transportation is a key priority for Allina Health to support the 6,000 patients who visit that facility each year,” said Pence.

North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) President Barbara McDonald, also on the trip, echoed a similar benefit for students and staff.

“The Blue Line extension would be huge for NHCC and its 10,000 students who are increasingly from immigrant communities and emerging constituencies. I support the line and am willing to collaborate as needed,” said McDonald.

The Connect Blue Line Now! Coalition in partnership with the Metropolitan Council Chair Nora Slawik, Hennepin County Commissioner Mike Opat, and other local leaders will continue to work together to enhance quality of life for the communities throughout the Blue Line Extension Corridor.

The total estimated cost of the project is $1.5 billion, with funding from a combination of federal, state and local sources.

The Blue Line Coalition:
A coalition of community organizations inclusive of communities of color, immigrants and refugees, people of different abilities, lower wealth families, aging, and transit dependent populations along the Blue Line Corridor.

Connect Blue Line Now! Coalition:
A coalition of city leaders from Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, New Hope, Golden Valley, and Robbinsdale who are united in making sure the METRO Blue Line Light Rail (BLRT) Extension project becomes a reality for the Northwest metropolitan area and the region.