Grow with Us Plant Sale!
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Get all of your garden needs and help support DFL48! This year, we’re offering you plant cards at both Gerten’s Greenhouses and Garden Center in Inver Grove Heights and Wagner’s Greenhouse in Minneapolis and Bloomington.
Questions Loon’s stance on light rail
Back in July, Rep. Loon outlined her opposition to SWLRT: “The overall return on investment of this $1.7 billion project does not warrant support. It lacks a completed environmental study of its impact on Eden Prairie. Moreover, ridership projections fall well below levels necessary to support the long-term operating budget of the line.” (July 10 letter to the editor).
I was alarmed and disappointed to learn that our state representative seems to be basing her opposition to SWLRT on very flimsy rationale. I soon realized her opposition was shared by almost every other Republican lawmaker, including the current Republican candidate for governor, Commissioner Jeff Johnson and our own Eden Prairie City Council member Brad Aho.
So I did some research. I learned that MnDOT publishes annual mass transit reports that detail the ridership and operating costs of every single mass transit system int he state. This is what I learned:
- The average operating cost per ridership (total operating costs divided by total number of riders) for the years 2006 through 2012 for Metro Light Rail (Blue Line (LRT) $2.43; Metro Fixed Bus: $3.42; Southwest Transit: $7.21. Since fares run between $1.75 and $3 per ride, that means that the Metro Light Rail is the only metro transit system that is currently potentially covering all the operating costs with ridership fares.
- In 2012, the last year data is available, ridership levels for Metro Light Rail exceeded year 2020 projections by 29 percent with 31,300 average weekday boardings.
Eden Prairie needs a stat representative who bases her positions and votes on the best interests of her community, the economy, the environment — not the deceptive and wrong ideology of her political party. Please join me in voting for Joan Howe-Pullis on Nov. 4.
Eden Prairie News, October 23, 2014