Rush Line route draft approved, public hearing set

During its March 23 meeting, the Rush Line Corridor Policy Advisory Committee approved the Alternative 1 route, a 13-mile bus rapid transit route operating in a dedicated guideway generally along the Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority right-of-way from Union Depot in downtown St. Paul to White Bear Lake.

Future bus connections further north will continue to be explored.

In making its recommendation on the draft alternative, the committee approved refinements to a few segments of the route based on public input and technical analysis:

• Routing option into downtown – Option 1 was selected and will run from Phalen Village to the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul via Phalen Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue, Jackson Street and Robert Street. This route serves the highest number of employment areas and equity populations, offers the fastest route, provides a convenient transfer to the Green Line and has the greatest ridership potential. The Policy Advisory Committee also expressed support for pursuing separate transit investments along E. 7th Street such as bus service improvements, Arterial BRT or streetcar to create a more comprehensive transit system.

• Routing option north of Interstate 694 – Highway 61 was selected over the adjacent privately owned BNSF Railway corridor because it is more cost effective to build due to public ownership of the right-of-way and the stations along the way will serve higher employment areas including downtown White Bear Lake, Marina Triangle, Cedar Avenue and County Road E.

Following the selection of the draft route, the Policy Advisory Committee has scheduled a public hearing to be held on April 27 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, 1390 Larpenteur Ave., for residents to share their thoughts and concerns about the route draft. If you cannot attend the public hearing, please send your comments via email to info@rushline.org or by mail to:

Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority

Attn: Rush Line Corridor comments

214 E. 4th Street, Suite 200

Saint Paul, MN 55101

A vote to formally adopt the locally preferred alternative will then be taken by both the Task Force and Policy Advisory Committee at the May 25 meetings. Each city and county along the route will then vote on whether to endorse the alternative before more detailed environmental and engineering work will begin.

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