MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — People who live and work near University Avenue, where the next light rail line will be built, met on Saturday to talk about the plans and concerns.

The Healthy Corridor for All Coalition released a study about the potential impact of the Central Corridor Light Rail line.

It found that 60 percent of all jobs in St. Paul are on the Central Corridor and 86 percent of the businesses along the line are small businesses that are at risk of getting forced out.

“The small businesses in the area are also worried about making sure that customers have access to their stores because construction phase is going to be three years long and it only takes one month of interruption for a business to go out,” said Liz Xiong from St. Paul.

“We are not opposed to light rail coming through. We welcome the light rail. We just want to make sure that we have benefits to this light rail as well,” said Eve Swan, also from St. Paul.

Construction of the new light rail line has already begun and should open in 2014.

Comments (22)
  1. paul says:

    I’m looking forward to opening up a new shop on University after this is all finished. The businesses there now need some help.

  2. Jobu says:

    they need to get going on expanding the light rail down 35 into the south suburbs now!!

    1. josh says:

      that won’t happen, the next one for 2017 is out to eden prarie, and then north to brooklyn center/maple grove in mid 2020’s. Bus rapid tranist is the only thing going down 35 any time soon.

      1. MRGreen says:

        By that point most of us working will now be retired. It will by your children and grand children who will reap the benefits of light rail. At least they will not have to pay the 15 dollars per gallon of gas at that time.

  3. Katrina says:

    It would be nice if CBS would tell us where to find the study.

    1. Cheryl Kenney says:

      ISAIAH.org has information about the study. You may also choose to like ISAIAH on Facebook.

  4. RIII says:

    Not content with taxing all the car lots off of University Avenue they taxed all the manufacturing off it also. Manufacturing companies like Osvold that provided good paying jobs in the city have been replaced with companies like the BlueGreen Alliance that produce nothing. Now they seek to destroy the small businesses along University with construction of a Light Rail track that is nothing more then a Union welfare project. When open the Light Rail will cost us more and more as the Metro Transit system collects less then 35% of it’s operating costs from fares the rest is paid for with taxes and fees. When will this stupidity stop.

    1. Ralph says:

      The dealerships left for where there was more affluent patrons or quit altogether for lack of business.

  5. mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

    Another project when it is up and running that will be subsidized off the backs of taxpayers. Meaning it will NEVER show a profit as the taxpayers pay for a portion of each ticket. Where is that story?

    1. Iconoclast says:

      Oh look Mark is back with more of his dim witted reactionary diatribes.

      Hey genius, roads are publicly funded and they lose money all day. What difference does it make if we put down rails instead of road besides rail being more expensive at the start? University ave is one of the most blighted and ugly roads in the cities. It will be well served by light rail. It will increase the value of the entire corridor and spur development. The existing business (Which includes many chains and large retailers) will do fine. They will be compensated for any construction loss. That’s what all this song and dance is about. They just want a piece of the action in the mean time. Once the line is done they will be very, very pleased. You need go curl back up in the hole you came from and stop shilling for people with a lot more money than you.

      1. MRGreen says:

        University avenue is home to many colleges and Universities which means it will likely be a very high demand light rail line. In 30 years we will look back and be glad we made the investment. Our children will look at our generation for making the smart decision that directly impacts their generation. Unlike Pohlad’s generation which was responsible for dismantling the street car line.

  6. mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

    This project will kill all small and start up businesses along University, they will be taxed out

    1. Becky NOT from mntaxwaste.com says:

      Hey Mark, if you don’t like it here in MN… MOVE! Quit your belly achin’ and do us all a favor – M O V E. Minnesota would be better off without your complaining. Start seeing the lighter side of things and lighten up, boy! At the rate you’re going, you’ll be 6′ under soon.

  7. Tom says:

    Alot of typical conservative responses here!

    Just shows you progress scares them!

    1. mark from mntaxwaste.com says:

      @Tom No progressives don’t scare us,some of their ideas are very good. its the waste of tax payers money on some of their ideas that scares us

      1. Jack Wad says:

        I’m sorry Mark, please enlighten us with your dim-witted vision as to what the state should spend their money on that will give us return? Maybe you should be Governor. After all, you have all the answers.

  8. Lara Christley says:

    I was at this meeting and really felt, for the first time since moving to Saint Paul, that my community was mobilizing around something positive. Yes, there are concerns, and they should be voiced and addressed, but this is a great project. We need mass transit to move us around. Have you driven on 94 lately between Mpls and St. Paul during rush hour? What a mess! There is no public transportation project that is cheap. Highways are expenses. Buses are expensive. This is because traveling is expensive. Gas is only going to get more expensive. Trains are the most economical way to use gas to get people around. This will be an easy, convenient way to get people around. Let’s just make sure we do it right!

  9. Cheryl Kenney says:

    I also attended the meeting, and I am glad that it brought people’s attention to this issue. I hope that the Saint Paul City Council and the Met Council will choose to adopt a policy platform that includes the goals of the Healthy Corridor for All coalition.

  10. Who is John Galt? says:

    Light rail isn’t good for anything or anyone, just look at the budget deficit this debacle is running right now. It is a collassal wasye of over priced toy trains that require high end maintenance and specially trained technicians to fix it but it is a utopians dream come true and we all know who is controlling the purse strings at the Met council…..Mondale and all of his socialist buddies that want nothing more than to eject us from our vehicles so that he can be chauferred in his Lincoln towncar and save us from the global cooling (1970’s) I mean global warming (2000’s), urr uh I mean global climate change (current) Do any of you limosine liberals realize that gov’t needs to stand down and get out of the way so that the real producers can fix the economy, fix the budget and rip up your check book once and for all. Gov’t is not the answer to the problems of our day, gov’t is the problem! (Ronald Reagan)

  11. lonn says:

    Each time a person rides the train – it costs us all $20.00. If they ride a bus it is about $2.50 – $3.00. Gas tax is used for trains, buses, roads and who knows what else. It should only be used for maintaining roads – let those who ride the trains pay $24.00 each way and use money from there to maintain the trains! I’ve heard it said – buy each one who rides the train a car and it will be cheaper for all of us.
    Hiawatha Line in Minneapolis was money thrown away, spending $715 million. (Add another $13.5 million for platform and station expansions.)
    Taxpayers have to cough up more to expand on that mistake — to the tune of $98 million a mile which will result in Billions of dollars for the whole thing. Don’t sit and say “it will be paid for by the Federal and the State”l. Who do you think pays that? Governments? ha-ha We are the government and we pay it all! Have no fear tho – with the logic of some, all it will take is a few years and another couple billion bucks from us, our children and our grandchildren!

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