Metropolitan Council Chair Sue Haigh delivered the State of the Region address Wednesday from inside Target Field, near the site of a proposed transit hub in downtown Minneapolis.
Haigh's speech focused on new rail and bus lines that will converge on a station right outside the ballpark.
The proposed Southwest Corridor light rail line from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie has already received federal money. Haigh thanked Gov. Mark Dayton for including $25 million for the project in his proposed bonding bill. Haigh said she understands legislators are under pressure to cut back on public spending.
"But I think when they look at the data and they look at the facts, they'll see this is the type of investment that they will be proud of," Haigh said. "That 10 years from now, they will point to and say that was the right choice for our region."
Construction on the Central Corridor Light Rail line between Minneapolis and St. Paul will be two-thirds complete by the end of this year, she said.
Haigh also spoke about how changing regional demographics will affect the demand for housing.
"We're going to have some smaller households than we've had before," Haigh said. "Housing needs are going to change. And we know that we're going to have more seniors than ever before. And that's true in all communities in the region."
By 2040, nearly half the population in the metro area will likely be racial minorities, Haigh said.