The proposed Central Corridor LRT line and a sewer project in Iraq have a lot in common. Both projects have already cost us “little people” somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. Both projects have awarded lucrative government contracts to multi-national conglomerates while leaving local businesses and residents with a mess. And both projects, $100 million down the drain and years in the works, are far from completion.
After spending over $100 million, folks in Fallujah have open trenches lining major roads, and the planned sewer system, if and when it’s ever built, will serve only 43,000 of the more than 200,000 residents of the city. And after new sewers in downtown St. Paul, new roads around the University, and continuing work on a “final” design, folks waiting for better transit service in the Twin Cities will just have to wait.
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According the Arlene McCarthy, Director of Transportation Services for the Met Council, the proposed Central Corridor LRT line “would essentially replace the Rt. 50 limited-stop that is operation today.” The Rt. 50 is currently an infrequent, weekday, rush hour-only service. If a frequent, everyday, all day service like the proposed Central Corridor LRT line is needed, why doesn’t it already exist? The money already spent on road construction and consultants would have more than paid for the needed upgrade to the limited-stop transit service on University Avenue.