U study finds Dinkytown LRT route could jeopardize funding

Light rail legacy
Light Rail train
MPR Photo/Tom Scheck

A study commissioned by the University of Minnesota found the U's preferred route for the Central Corridor light rail line would fail a key test for qualifying for federal funding.

The report obtained by the St. Paul Pioneer Press says the university's preferred route would cost less to build, but would attract several thousand fewer riders. The report will be discussed today, as the Metropolitan Council decides how to route the train through campus.

The U and Met Council still appear to be locked in a debate over the campus alignment. The Met Council favors a track along the busy Washington Avenue. But the U has been increasingly resistant to that plan in recent months and is studying an alternate route further north, through Dinkytown.


Some project supporters say the discord could delay the project by at least a year or even jeopardize about $450 million in federal funding.

In the first of two back-to-back meetings today, a key advisory committee will make a recommendation to the Met Council on the campus route. Then the Met Council will likely take an up-or-down vote on the Dinkytown route.