So the "good" news that the Gold Line got into the smaller new starts program looks null and void because the larger parent program has recommended for all our corridors to receive nothing. It's like getting hired for a job by a branch manager on their last day of work. Then the district boss comes in and tells them they're out and so are most the projects and new hires they were working with are gone too. The new management is in and they've announced they're going to fire the Gold line... but this major step back is going unreported just like most of the major steps back for the Washington County mass transit corridors. Who, by their own numbers, will relieve less than 5% of traffic off the highway they wind down the side streets next to on the slow ride to St. Paul. See:
The Gateway Corridor, Big Promises, Little Evidence
Transit planners are in the business of over promising and under delivering. The year before the Red Line they predicted 1,800 riders a day... they only got 850 and even less today as they assumed ridership would rise with awareness... it's been a stagnant 850 or so riders a year since it opened in 2013. The Northstar corridor predicted there'd be 9,500 riders a day by 2020 in the current Big Lake to Minneapolis layout in 2006 (p.27); but only has 2,500 riders on this design today (p.16)... They were off by 7,000 riders a day!
|Washington County Dumpster Fire|
It seems there is no amount of pulled State, Federal, and local funding that would discourage the Washington County board, Representative Kelly Fenton, Franke, and Jurgens and the Woodbury Mayor Mary Giuliani Stephens, from saying enough is enough... We've wasted over $51,000,000 local Washington County tax dollars planning these horribly bad transit lines (the amount of money raised since 2008 from the county by the transit sales tax).
All 5 county commissioners have voted unanimously to keep it going full steam ahead. Don't be fooled by an isolated, and pre-arrange no vote from commissioner Fran Miron and Gary Kriesel to double the tax. They've continued to vote to approve steps to move the mass transit projects forward before and after their isolated no vote.
Not all public transit is bad. The express bus, park and ride, service with peak service during rush hours directly to and from the city is good. Metro mobility, that provides door to door service for elderly and disabled people is good. Even some local bus routes in Washington County are useful. No buildings to maintain, no service during the mid day and night where LRT and BRT run with largely empty (for express bus), lower operating costs, and no costly infrastructure to pay for and maintain other than the buses themselves.