Rush Line BRT Project awarded $1.25 million for development study along route

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Rush Line BRT Project awarded $1.25 million for development study along route

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) last week announced a $1.25 million competitive grant to support transit-oriented development planning along the Rush Line Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) route. The grant is the result of strong collaboration between Ramsey County, the Metropolitan Council, FTA and additional local partners.

Rush Line station area discussion with small business owners

The grant comes from the FTA’s Pilot Program for Transit-Oriented Development Planning, which funds comprehensive planning projects near public transportation that improve access, encourage ridership and spur economic and mixed-use development. The funds will be used for an inclusive planning process with the diverse communities along the Rush Line BRT route to establish a vision for future development near Rush Line BRT stations and determine how communities can implement that vision.

“Locating jobs, housing, education, healthcare and other essential resources near high-quality transit is part of how we enhance quality of life in Ramsey County,” said Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey County Commissioner and Chair of the Rush Line Corridor Task Force. “By carefully planning for the future of these station areas, we make the most of the substantial investment in Ramsey County’s prosperity that the Rush Line represents.”

The Rush Line BRT is a future 15-mile transit route with 21 stations between Union Depot in Lowertown Saint Paul and downtown White Bear Lake. The project is led by Ramsey County in partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, the Metropolitan Council, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the cities of Saint Paul, Maplewood, Vadnais Heights, Gem Lake and White Bear Lake, and White Bear Township. The Rush Line BRT project team is currently completing an Environmental Assessment, expected to be published for public comment at the end of 2020. The project is anticipated to be transitioned to the Metropolitan Council in 2021 with construction slated to start in 2024 and service projected to begin in 2026.

“This critical federal support will give residents, businesses and other community members a greater opportunity to shape how the Rush Line BRT will influence development in the areas near stations,” said White Bear Lake Mayor and chair of the Rush Line Policy Advisory Committee, Jo Emerson. “Thoughtful development along the Rush Line BRT route can enhance communities and address ongoing challenges like housing affordability and racial disparities in access to jobs, food and other necessities.”

Read the Federal Transit Administration’s grant announcement and view the full list of funded projects

John Siqveland, Public Communications Director, 651-746-9250.

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