Gateway Corridor officials head to Los Angeles to study bus rapid transit

A team from the Gateway Corridor Commission — which is considering  rapid transit options between Woodbury and downtown St. Paul — is in Los Angeles this week, looking at the Metro Orange Line bus corridor there.

Thirty people, including commission members, business people, community members and staff from city, county, regional, state and congressional offices are on the trip, which runs Wednesday through Friday.

The plan, said Commission Chair and Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik in a statement, “is to identify strategies and lessons learned that could apply to Gateway Corridor”:

“The trip will be an opportunity to interact with the people operating the service to learn about economic development opportunities, community engagement, and nuances of operating a dedicated guideway BRT system. These are valuable lessons for Gateway Corridor Commission and project partners to learn prior to making significant decisions, such as route alignments and preferred modes of transit.”

The Orange Line was chosen for study, official said, because of its:

  • Use of a dedicated guideway — none exists in Minnesota at this time
  • Ratio of corridor length to number of stations
  • Level of transit station and vehicle amenities
  • Diverse populations and land uses along the line
  • Transit oriented development examples

The commission, which has representatives from the Washington and Ramsey County boards, and members from the area cities, is looking at both bus rapid transit and light rail transit options along a 12-mile stretch between Union Depot in Saint Paul and Woodbury, along Interstate 94 and Hudson Road.

An optimistic goal, depending on study findings and availability of funds, is to have service running by 2022.

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