Contact us at info@NoRushLine.com. A big thanks to all our recent fundraisers!
Until the Environmental Report came just this last May 2021, no one really knew exactly where this route went. Or, that so much of it did not use existing roads, instead, routing it over the Bruce Vento Trail and through the woods, tearing up a treasured trail as it barrels toward White Bear in 60ft long articulated buses.
Tragic thing is, they'll be empty.. there's no one who'll ride these buses, even according to their own survey!
The Rush Line BRT, also now known as the Purple Line, is a Met Council project that has been shrouded in semi-secrecy and now is pretty far along. It'll take extra efforts from all of us to stop or stall this thing. There is a ground swell building against this project, as cities like Gem Lake have unanimously voted against it, with perhaps more cities to come.
This proposed bus line would send 89 buses every weekday from the Depot in downtown St. Paul, into Mt. Airy & over to Phalen Blvd., then to downtown White Bear by "co-locating" on top of the Bruce Vento Trail, essentially destroying it & all the trail's character forever!
(See Route Impact HERE)
The cost is projected to be (at least) $475 million and would require building this "dedicated guideway" through St. Paul to Maplewood Mall, briefly on existing streets before it again, scoops up the last of the BV Trail. Then it turns onto Highway 61, with 89 buses every weekday and ends at a lot across from the new White Bear High School, where it turns around.
Originally, it was to go to Forest Lake... now its not, but will still cost the same.
We have a hard time finding more than 2-3 people on existing bus lines just a block over on English.
This makes no sense and is so destructive!
And, all this requires massive infrastructure, several new parking garages & lots, 7 new concrete bridge overpasses that are strictly for the Rush Line Bus Line.
See the details on Ramsey County site HERE.
• Ridership estimates are outdated, down 43% in 2021 vs. 2020
• Cost will be at least $475 million dollars (half a billion) to build
• Cost to operate will be $15.3 million annually.
WHAT THIS RUSHLINE BRT WILL RESULT IN:
The Met Council is a 17 member committee & policy-making board that governs the region’s highways, light rail, sewers, water and parks. It also produces ”big-picture” plans for development & steering population growth. Members are appointed, not elected.
LEARN HOW OUR MET COUNCIL COMPARES TO THE REST OF THE COUNTRY:
THE TWIN CITIES MET COUNCIL: A COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT
Initially, the state Legislature created the Met Council in the 1960’s in response to problems with the region’s wastewater and bus systems & federal law requiring regional governing bodies to oversee loan and grant applications.Today it allocates funds (state, federal and regional) among the region’s 187 municipalities for projects ranging from highway improvement to bridges to sewer lines. But the council’s role has expanded well beyond and perhaps too far beyond its original mandate.
By the way, our experiment with a Metro Council is unique in the United States. "Nowhere else in the U.S. is there a similar body of government.
•Most metropolitan regions meet federal mandates for regional government agencies with far weaker groups called Councils of Government (or COGs).
•Only Portland, Oregon, has a group that is somewhat like the Met Council, though that region’s voters elect its members."
In 2014, the Met Council released a draft of “Thrive MSP 2040” — “its comprehensive plan to shape development in the seven-county region over the next 30 years. And now, powerful forces are “coalescing to use the document as a tool for social planners to design their vision of the perfect society — and to impose it on the rest of us.”
From this alarming article in the Tribune August 13, 2013, written by Katherine Kersten:
“A huge, unchecked power grab is about to take place beneath our noses. But mayors and city councils will find it hard to push back. That’s because the Met Council will increasingly wield the power to decide which municipalities thrive and which decline. It will both write the rules for development and hold the purse strings."
"The forces shaping MSP 2040 — whose final vision the council approved in 2014 — are part of a growing nationwide movement called “regionalism.”
Regional planning for infrastructure and services is important, but “regionalism,” as an ideology, is NOT about promoting the good of a region as a whole.
"It’s about metro centers — the urban core and inner-ring suburbs — usurping control over outer-ring communities to advance their own interests and, in the process, effectively replacing local elected officials with a handful of regional governments."
"Regionalism is driven by a core ideological conviction: The cause of the poverty and social dysfunction that bedevil America’s cities is the greed and racial bigotry of suburbanites — especially those in prosperous, outer-ring suburbs, which are viewed as unjustly excluding the poor.
Regionalists believe that financial aid for the inner ring won’t remedy this injustice. A profound change in governance is required.
What sort of change? The title of a book by regionalist guru David Rusk puts it bluntly: “Cities without Suburbs.” In regionalists’ view, suburbs with their own tax bases are, by definition, a menace to cities, and the distinctions between the two must be wiped out as completely as possible."
"Regionalists’ strategy to effectively merge cities and suburbs turns on two ideologically freighted buzzwords: “equity” and “sustainability.”
“Equity” is code for using public policy to redistribute wealth and to engineer economic equality among demographic groups."
"Regionalists view metrowide “economic integration” as one of government’s primary responsibilities. Their plan to accomplish it is twofold:• Disperse urban poverty throughout a metro area via low-income housing • Make suburban life so inconvenient and expensive that suburbanites are pushed back into the city.
"Suburbanites will disproportionately shoulder the costs of this socially engineered transformation, paying more in taxes and getting less back in infrastructure and public services."
"Advocates insist that the Twin Cities must embrace regionalist policies to remain “economically competitive.” In fact, top-down planning by unaccountable bureaucrats that distorts market forces is likely to constrict overall prosperity and stymie development. Ironically, it’s also likely to increase “sprawl,” as people flee to cities like Delano or Elk River to get beyond the Met Council’s iron grip.
Most importantly, the direction the Met Council is heading is inconsistent with our deepest beliefs as a people. The American dream is about striving for a better life through economic growth, not redistribution of wealth. Regionalists’ Orwellian appeals to “equity” and “sustainability” are hostile to our cherished traditions of individual liberty, personal responsibility and local self-government.”
Thank you Katherine!
You can read the whole article here:
For years, the Met Council’s increasing authority has been questioned, not only because of its power and role in long-range policy planning, despite that its members are not elected, but also for its record of failed projects, its refusal to listen to the voters, and its complete and total lack of accountability.
Is it past time to consider ways to reign in Met Council's power? (..to save our parks & neighborhoods?)
Is it past time to consider having them elected instead of appointed?(..so that every voter has opportunity to participate in decision making?)
Is it past time to consider making them accountable to their districts?(..so that every resident has complete transparency?)
What's your opinion?
In this great article by Randal O'Toole explains that,
"For the same cost as the North Star trains, the Met Council could have given every daily round-trip commuter-train rider a brand-new Toyota Prius every single year for 30 years."
He goes on to say,
"Jane Jacobs could have predicted that the Metropolitan Council’s planning of the Twin Cities region would fail. Her 1961 book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, defined a “region” as “an area safely larger than the last one to whose problems we found no solution.”"
You can read the whole article HERE.
1. Why does the Rush Line route need a whole separate “guideway” instead of utilizing existing roads, considering the mammoth cost involved in building seven new bridges and miles of new two line highway on a beloved walking trail. Could there be a more expensive way to create a bus line infrastructure?
2. Do neighbors who border the Bruce Vento Trail have any idea of the destruction to their sound and visual barrier that will have to take place to build a 100 foot wide “guideway” and rebuilding of the existing trail?
3. Isn’t the Rush Line project a solution in search of a problem, considering that most buses in the north metro are nearly empty? If there is such a need for this project, why aren’t buses currently serving the exact areas not already well used?
4. Why did the project route originally extend to Forest Lake and now dead heads at White Bear? Considering the huge traffic cluster to and from Forest Lake on 35E at rush hour, wouldn’t bus service between Forest Lake and St. Paul have some potential to solve a real problem? Is it perhaps because an additional county would need to approve it?
5. When the Rush Line route dropped the idea of a Forest Lake extension, why did the estimated price tag of the project remain essentially the same?
6. Has there ever been a large scale public infrastructure project that came in on budget? And on time? We’ll wait….
7. Have you seen a bus lately that has more than a few people on it?
8. If the Maplewood Transit Center is such an important connection link on the Rush Line, why is the transit center virtually empty during the day? Please see the video above, showing transit center.
9. If there is such a compelling need to serve transportation needs in and out of White Bear Lake, why hasn’t the MTC simply added more buses to existing routes and track results before spending half a billion dollars on something that isn’t needed?
10. Why isn’t the Rush Line organization and Metropolitan Council listening to the overwhelming opposition to this proposed project?
11. Why is the Rush Line organization tone deaf to its own ridership survey which showed dismal results for those intending to use this bus line regularly? (See pie chart above for exact data)
12. Why has there been virtually no discussion of the main stream media electronic and print media stories on rampant crime on mass transit in the Twin Cities and the difficulties of hiring and maintaining drivers for already existing routes?
13. Why has there been no adjustment in ridership projections, despite massive and likely lasting changes in remote work situation due to COVID-19?
14. Why is this project going to magically attract ridership when an existing bus line one block from parts of the route on English street attracts several riders per bus?
15. Why is there not more honest discussion of other failed mass transit projects in the Twin Cities area, such as the Northstar Line? Even before the pandemic, the project was not meeting ridership expectations. This is when 6-7% of workers were telecommuting, now that number is more like 40-50%. Although this percentage may change, keep in mind that ridership plunged 96% in 2020. There were sometimes 5 riders on the route. This article can be found at www.mprnews.org under the title “Ridership Plunges on the Northstar Line.”
16. Has anyone thought about the grim fact that if this goes through, Highway 61 will be under construction FOR YEARS while Met Council tears up the town & surrounding area?