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Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Funding for Northstar Corridor found

Governor Pawlenty has found funding for the Northstar Corridor. Minnesota was once again in danger of losing out on free federal money because it couldn't kick in the state match for a transportation project, but this new plan seems to save us from ourselves. The governor had to do it himself, since the legislature was unable to come to an agreement on it this year, another one of the millions of things they dropped the ball on.

This is excellent news. The success of the Hiawatha Line, which is already exceeding ridership projections even though it isn't completed, shows that people are hungry for transit alternatives. Although I would prefer the line to go all the way to Saint Cloud instead of Big Lake, something is definitely better than nothing. Furthermore, Minnesota already receives far less money back from the federal government than we pay in. To pass on federal funding is completely idiotic. There are plenty of other states that would be happy to get the money that would be for the Northstar Corridor, so if we don't grab it we are truly missing out.

It is also interesting to see the politics in action here. As a state legislator, Pawlenty was hardly a proponent of this line. As governor, however, he seems to be trying to move towards the center, and supporting this transit line is one example of that. I can't say that I agree with him on most issues, but I am happy to see him on the right side of this one.


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