2020 Rush Line year in review, right-of-way design video, Policy Advisory Committee meeting, internships

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January 8, 2021

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Environmental analysis phase nears completion following progress in 2020

Community meeting about the design guide

A Ramsey County Rail Right-of-way Design Guide stakeholder meeting (pre-pandemic)

Planning, design and engagement with communities  continued to progress throughout 2020, despite challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rush Line BRT Project milestones in 2020 include:

-Nearly 500 community members shared input through an online survey about station access and design. Public engagement this year mostly occurred online due to the pandemic.

-Ramsey County completed the Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide, a roadmap for the future design of the Ramsey County Rail right-of-way—which includes the Bruce Vento Regional Trail and a bus-only guideway for the Rush Line BRT. Watch a video about the Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide.

-The Metropolitan Council and Ramsey County received a $1.25 million competitive federal grant to support transit-oriented development planning along the Rush Line BRT route. This planning work, which will involve engagement with residents and businesses along the Rush Line BRT route, is expected to occur between 2021 and 2023.

-The cities of Saint Paul, Maplewood, Vadnais Heights and White Bear Lake approved resolutions of support for the preliminary design plans for the project.

-Ramsey County submitted the Environmental Assessment document and accompanying technical memos to the Federal Transit Administration for required administrative and legal reviews. The Environmental Assessment is an analysis required by the state and federal government that describes the transportation, social and environmental benefits and impacts associated with the construction and operation of the Rush Line BRT.

What to expect in 2021

-Publication of the Environmental Assessment for public comment in the spring of 2021.

-Transition from Ramsey County to the Metropolitan Council as the lead agency for the project. The Metropolitan Council will lead the project through final design and construction, then operate the Rush Line BRT as part of Metro Transit's regional transit system.

-Submittal of an application to the Federal Transit Administration for the Rush Line BRT Project to formally enter the federal Capital Investment Grants program.

New video emphasizes importance of thoughtful trail and BRT design in county right-of-way

Susan Vento interview on Bruce Vento Regional Trail

Metropolitan Council Member Susan Vento

A new video explains the role of the Ramsey County Rail Right-of-Way Design Guide in the ongoing design process of the Rush Line BRT. The video features an interview with Metropolitan Council Member Susan Vento, who serves on the Rush Line BRT Project's Policy Advisory Committee. The Bruce Vento Regional Trail is named in honor of Councilmember Vento's late husband, U.S. Representative Bruce Vento.

Watch the two-minute video.

Policy Advisory Committee meets January 21

The Policy Advisory Committee for the Rush Line BRT Project will next meet on Thursday, January 21 at 2:30 p.m. on Zoom. Register to attend.

Transportation and economic development internships with Ramsey County

Ramsey County is seeking talented and diverse undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of degree programs to apply for the All-Abilities Transportation Network Internship Program. Interns will spend the summer working on high-priority Ramsey County projects and initiatives, including transit, roadway and redevelopment projects. Apply by February 11.