Dayton Demands Light Rail Expansion 04 May 17

Governor Mark Dayton made himself crystal clear this week, telling top Republicans in the State House and Senate he wants measures that could kill Metro Southwest Light Rail expansion taken out of a potential transportation funding bill.

Dayton says if a bill reaches his desk with those provisions included, he’ll veto it. 

Republican leaders have not immediately responded, but did say earlier they do not oppose mass transit funding but support more cost-effective ways than light rail.

Northwest Minnesota has a growing appreciation for the passenger friendly, fast and convenient light rail system following a re-emergence of reliable air travel from the Regional Airport. Boutique flights from Thief River Falls link directly with the Twin Cities Light Rail System. From Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport, $1.50 fare can take you straight to the Mall of America, Target Field or the Minnesota State Capitol and all points in between. The Governor wants funding to further extend light rail into southeastern Twin Cities suburbs.

A transportation bill is not mandatory, but if the dispute over light rail torpedoes the legislation, neither Democrats nor Republicans would get funding they say they want for roads and bridges.