Metropolitan Council approves $350 million in transportation projects

Dec. 28, 2022
The Met Council approved more than $80 million in funding for transit-related projects as part of its significant bump in formula funding from the IIJA.

The Metropolitan Council (Met Council) in Minnesota approved $350 million in transportation investments from money received through formula funding, which saw a significant increase through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) that was signed into law in November 2021.

Met Council tasks its Transportation Advisory Board with developing a plan to invest formula funding every two years. Typically, the board can fund approximately 44 regional projects with its nearly $200 million in federal funding. In 2021, a total of 56 projects were approved for funding. However, the IIJA’s funding increases means the region will see $350 million in transportation invested in 91 projects. 

The approved Met Council Transportation Advisory Board plan relied heavily on community input and invests in projects that will improve highways, bridges, active transportation and transit.

“Input at the local level is critical to the success of any plan, but it’s especially critical when you’re planning where to invest in transportation,” said Met Council Transportation Committee Chair Deb Barber. “You have to have the input from the communities you serve to know precisely which investments make the most sense.”

The approved plan includes more than $80 million in transit related projects. The largest investment is $25 million for the future Metro Transit METRO G Line bus rapid transit (BRT). The BRT line will provide faster and more reliable transit service in the corridor that connects Robert Street on Saint Paul’s West Side to Rice Street in the North End neighborhood. A second $7 million investment in a Rice Street reconstruction project will leverage another $29 million in local funding, allowing both projects to coordinate construction activities.

Highlights from the plan’s transit expansion investment includes:

  • $7 million for the I-494 Park & Ride Structure in Woodbury;
  • $7 million for Metro Transit’s METRO Green Line Light-Rail Transit Extension and
  • $5.6 million for SouthWest Transit’s SW Prime North Expansion in Carver and Hennepin Counties

Highlights from the plan’s transit modernization investment includes:

  • $7 million for Metro Transit’s Blue Line Lake St. Station Renovation;
  • $4 million for Minnesota Valley Transit Authority’s (MVTA) second phase of the Apply Valley Transit Station Modernization and
  • $1.99 million for the city of Minneapolis to modernize the 5th Street Transit Center.

Transit projects were also included in the plan’s travel demand management and unique project buckets, including funding for a Metro Transit Wayfinding Project, MVTA Transit Connection Specialist and Regional Mobility Hubs in Ramsey County.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.