Federal Funds Could Push along Streetcar Project in Minneapolis

Updated: 04/11/2014 5:50 PM
Created: 04/08/2014 5:43 PM
By: Todd Wilson

The City of Minneapolis is looking to apply for federal grant money to be used for the Nicollet-Central Modern Streetcar project.

"We are considering applying for a Tiger Grant to implement that project," said Anna Flintoft with the city's public works department. "We're probably looking at something up to the $40 million range."

This year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has $600 million available to invest in economic recovery projects.

The cost for the project is $200 million. The city would put up $60 million through a value capture district along the 3.4-mile corridor.

River Newell-Cline and her friend Kevin Feidt were recently waiting at Nicollet Avenue and West 25th Street in Minneapolis for the bus. 

"I probably use the bus like three to four times a week," River said. She says she's heard about the city's streetcar proposal. She likes the idea. "There's something so universal about the image of a streetcar," she said.

If the city submits the Tiger 2014 application, the additional $100 million would be sought through the proposed expansion of the Metropolitan Area Sales Tax for transit currently under consideration at the Minnesota Legislature.

Eight streetcar projects have received money from the grant - they include New Orleans, Tucson and Salt Lake City to name a few. They've gotten between $11 million and $63 million.

Newell-Cline says streetcars would bring a nostalgic feeling to urban transportation. "Not only that image of an older time, but there's something that's really fun to ride," River said.

The deadline for submitting an application is April 28.

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