Northern Lights Express Dilemma: do you support it?... by Twin Cities Homes for Sale

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Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty

 

Northern Lights Express Dilemma: do you support it?... by Twin Cities Homes for Sale

I have lived in Minnesota since 1987 and have really enjoyed it.  Twin Cities are a great area, clean, with lots of parks and wildlife preserves.  We have a diverse economy, excellent schools, arts and entertainment, and sports facilities. Minnesotans pay a lot of money in taxes to have great infrastructure here, but how much more are we willing to give?

Northern Lights Express rail from Minneapolis to Duluth has been in the works for a while.  The idea is great:  to provide a two hour high-speed rail service between the two cities, create over 13,000 new jobs, generate new developments, and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to a car commute. 

However, the problem is estimated cost of the project.  Estimates started at $360,000,000.  One could say: not bad for 155 miles of high speed rail system.  But, then… How do you go from $360 million to $615 million, to almost 1 billion, yes BILLION in about a year?!

MnDOT project manager, Dave Christianson, said to Star Tribune: “we've come up with what many might call a worst-case scenario, and after identifying some of the shortcomings in the system, the state rail plan will stick with $990 million as the high range of the cost."

MnDOT says that the federal government will cover 80% of the total cost.  But, what will happen when this funding won’t come?  Is it smart to commit to a project of this magnitude in today’s economy?

So, what do you do if you have to get to Duluth from the Twin Cities?  Most people drive.  It’ll cost of roughly $42 for a round trip (assuming mileage at 20 per gallon of gas) and it will take about 2 and a half hours to get there. Cost of a round trip plane ticket is $400-$450 (rather pricey!), but you’ll get there faster and won’t have to deal with traffic.  $990,000,000,000 (a lot of zeros!) dollars would go very far subsidizing airplane tickets for those who need to fly this route.  So far Minnesota hasn’t been successful at creating a profitable project.  The Light Rail system has yet to make money. 

So, will you support this project?

 

 

If you are relocating to the Twin Cities, contact me for a FREE comprehensive

RELOCATION PACKET.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Contact Marzena M. Melby, GRI, CDPE, Broker/Partner, Counselor Realty, Inc., Licensed REALTOR® in the state of Minnesota at  If you prefer, contact me by email, by clicking on "email me"; link of this page under my profile.

Visit my website to search homes for sale in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas.

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is supplied by several sources and is subject to change without notice. Twin Cities Homes 4 Sale Blog does not guarantee, or is any way responsible for its accuracy, and provides said information without warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Entries on Twin Cities Homes 4 Sale Blog represent the opinions and ideas of the author. Twin Cities Homes 4 Sale Blog does not express the views of Counselor Realty, Inc. or its other partners or agents.

Northern Lights Express Dilemma: do you support it?... by Twin Cities Homes for Sale

Copyright © 2009 By Marzena M. Melby, All Rights Reserved

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
1,404,799
Tom Braatz
Re/Max Realty Center 262-377-1459 - Oconomowoc, WI
Waukesha County Realtor Real Estate agent,Waukesha

Marzena

I can see how this is a plus but also a negative in the fact as well. I see that coming around me with plans as well from Milwaukee to Waukesha County.

Nov 30, 2009 07:27 PM #1
Rainmaker
201,298
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Hi Tom,

It's not easy to make this decision.  There are lots of pros as there are cons.  In the end, we should consider the costs, the benefit, and the long term effect.

Nov 30, 2009 10:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
289,811
Kate Bourland
Marketing with Kate - Redding, CA
Onlilne Marketing Mobile Marketing

How is it that good things get so complicated.  How can the real cost of something be so grossly underestimated?  The problem with going the the "high end" projection is that budgets are overshot by government agencies.

That is a tough one.  Somebody needs to go back and sharpen their pencil!

Dec 01, 2009 01:20 AM #3
Rainmaker
201,298
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Very true.  I am all for making life easier as long as the cost is reasonable.

Dec 01, 2009 05:49 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,488,066
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Authentic Feng Shui Expert

Marzena, I don't know if it's the best time to do a project that would cost this type of money.  We have a battle going on here about a HUGE project they want to start...I don't know what the answer is for you but for our project I'm opposed to it.

Dec 01, 2009 06:09 PM #5
Rainmaker
201,298
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Hi Carole,

As a society, we have gotten into a large amount of debt. Each state has issues it's dealing with with.  Thos need to be resolved.  But, let's be smart about starting big projects not knowing all the facts and costs.

Dec 01, 2009 10:22 PM #6
Rainer
110,832
Charles Perkins
Charles G. Perkins, CPA - Burien, WA

Seattle just got done with a most of their light rail project.  It will cost us a fortune and in the first months the ridership is no where near what was projected.   Hope your project is better planned and actually gets used.

 

In time a project like this could gain riders, but it takes time to build infrastructure around train stops.

Dec 04, 2009 01:33 AM #7
Rainmaker
201,298
Marzena Melby
Coldwell Banker Burnet Realty - Richfield, MN
Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate

Yes, and I realize that.  We had exact same scenario with the light rail system a few years back.  Costs were grossly underestimated and ridership overstated.  True, we've picked up ridership, but it still isn't profitable.  Twin Cities suburbs literally surround Minneapolis and St Paul.  So, traffic comes to downtowns from all over.  How do you pick where to build the rail? Yes, we have the population but if someone needs to drive 10 miles east to catch the train for an 8-10 mile ride downtown north they won't.  They will drive straight to downtown.

 

Dec 04, 2009 06:27 AM #8
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
201,298

Marzena Melby

Realtor, Twin Cities Minnesota Real Estate
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