2-26-16: The Implementation data was finally posted nearly a month after the January 28th Commission vote.
Last month I wrote about how Washington County Refuses to Disclose Latest Red Rock Corridor Cost Analysis despite the fact they are making the final route decision later this month. The differences between the two routes are big. The original route (Alternate 1) was picked from the 2013 Alternative Analysis Update study (AAU) it has only 6 stations and takes a near direct route from Hastings to Union Depot in St. Pual; The Alternate 2 route was picked from an extra transit study called the "implementation plan," it doubles the station stops to 12 and takes over an hour to go from Hastings to Union Depot with all the stops (p.15 of 12/2 meeting). Alternate 1 had a claimed cost of $45.8 million (p. 14 of AAU pdf) and Alternate 2 somehow has a claimed cost of just $43.7 million on the vague implementation plan the County refuses to explain or release the data on publicly.
|At the same time the County tells it's citizens the Alternate 1 cost is only $28.6 million |
they're applying for CTIB funding stating the actual original route cost is $55.5 million.
From their September 2015 application to CTIB for a $150,000 grant (ironically to extend this $550,000 study) they state the original route estimate is $40 million for construction plus another $15.5 million for the buses and other costs for a total of $55.5 million for the original 6 stop route!(on page 23 of the pdf) Not $28.6 million and perhaps higher than the 2013 AAU estimate of $45.8 million due to inflation or the fact they've changed their mind about the Cottage Grove station stops by shying away from the Langdon Village stop. (who knows because they refuse to explain).
The local media, through the South Washington County Bulletin, was quick to publish without questioning the bad numbers in this December article "Six more stops identified for possible Red Rock BRT route" I've explained in the past to them how ridiculous the estimates for this corridor are by simply asking them to consider the fact the Red Line BRT corridor in Apple Valley cost $112 million with six stations and less than half the distance! However, most recently I emailed the editor of the Bulletin Scott Wente asking him to have the article corrected and he responded over a week ago "Thanks for your note. I'll check on the need for a correction." There's still no correction. Even though it contradicts their own piece from 2014: "With a price tag of around $45 million in capital costs, BRT, Leitner said, is a more financially feasible option compared to the $585 million needed to get commuter rail off the ground." swcbulletin.com/content/bus-
Related County Corridor Articles:
Red Rock Corridor Plan Falls Apart Now Wants to be Called Route 363
Washington County Refuses to Disclose Latest Red Rock Corridor Cost Analysis
At least the Pioneer Press is waking up to how bad one of these corridors are in this piece from Bob Shaw:
You know it's time to Stop expanding failed transit projects like the Gateway/ Gold Line and Red Rock Corridor when not even the 2014 Democrat controlled House, Senate, and Governor's office Would increase the tax to pay for it.
The bill to Quadruple the metro sales tax to fund unsustainable transit projects like the Gateway/ Gold Line and Red Rock Corridor passed the Senate the 2015 session with 3 of our Washington County Legislators: Katie Sieben, Susan Kent, and Charles Wiger. Thankfully it didn't pass in the House. The bill is tabled until the 2016 session.