Congresswoman McCollum, local leaders discuss Gateway Corridor BRT with Governor

Gov. Mark Dayton heard from community leaders on Monday, Feb. 9, who say $3 million in state funding is essential this legislative session to keep the momentum going for cost effective, reliable bus rapid transit (BRT) in the Gateway Corridor, a 12-mile stretch along Interstate 94 and Hudson Road between downtown St. Paul and Woodbury.  

Congresswoman Betty McCollum brought several local elected and business officials, including Sen. Karin Housley, Sen. Susan Kent, Rep. Kelly Fenton, Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik, Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega, Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, and Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce President Matt Kramer.

The group discussed the broad support for the proposed BRT service, according to Commissioner Weik, chair of the Gateway Corridor Commission,

“Many business people and residents, and all of the city councils and county boards in the corridor, are in favor of BRT because they believe it is cost effective and flexible, and will move people to job, education and recreation opportunities,” said Commissioner Weik. “We also demonstrated to the governor today that both Republican and Democratic legislators embrace the Gateway project for those very same reasons.”

The second highest traffic volumes in the metro are experienced in this corridor. Traffic is expected to grow 30 percent to 40 percent by 2030, with no major investments planned to I-94, Commissioner Weik said. A 40 percent growth in population and the addition of 61,000 new jobs by 2030 also will require mobility solutions.
Ramsey County Commissioner Rafael Ortega relayed the importance of transportation for students.

“We have a number of colleges and trade schools in the Gateway Corridor, but students need a way to access education and jobs,” Commissioner Ortega told Gov. Dayton.

“Gateway Gold Line BRT will serve students very well because it will run frequently, in both directions, at all times of the day.”

The project is seen favorably at the federal level, according to Congresswoman McCollum.

“President Obama last year acknowledged the importance of the Gateway Corridor by placing it on a short list of fast tracked projects,” said Congresswoman McCollum. “It was great to visit with Gov. Dayton and share the bipartisan support for this project, and request that he and the Minnesota Legislature further demonstrate their commitment with a $3 million investment this year.”

About the Gateway Corridor bus rapid transit project

Gateway is a proposed bus rapid transit line that would run 12 miles in its own lane between the Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul and Woodbury next to Interstate 94 and Hudson Road. All-day transit service would stop at 12 stations and include connections to the growing regional transit system. The system could open for service by 2022 and will provide a focal point for new economic development opportunities as the region grows. The work is led by the Gateway Corridor Commission, which is comprised of local elected officials, business and community leaders. More information is available at www.theGatewayCorridor.com.

 

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