Commission Adopts 2016 Legislative Initiative

Commission Adopts 2016 Legislative Initiative

The Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission approved a resolution at its January meeting supporting Minnesota passenger rail legislative initiatives as outlined by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT). At the 2016 legislative session, MnDOT is requesting $21 million in bonds for passenger rail in several Minnesota corridors, including the River Route. MnDOT is also requesting a sustainable, dedicated fund for passenger rail project oversight.

The resolution states that, “non-federal funding is needed to complete engineering, design, environmental analysis and mitigation, acquisition of right-of-way, construction and other costs directly attributable to … a second daily Amtrak train between Chicago and Saint Paul.” The Commission also emphasized the shared benefit with freight rail. By addressing changing infrastructure needs, safety, and capacity constraints along the River Route, both passenger and freight rail service can be improved.

MnDOT’s Passenger Rail Office has leveraged over $40 million in federal funds with $26 million in bonding previously provided by the Minnesota legislature.

Click here to see more information about MnDOT’s legislative request and the Commission’s resolution.

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