METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT)

In early 2013, the Metropolitan Council amended the metro region’s Transportation Plan to include the Bottineau Transitway, a dedicated light rail transit (LRT) corridor proposed to extend from downtown Minneapolis to northern Brooklyn Park. Now known as the METRO Blue Line Extension, the line will be an extension of the current Blue Line (Hiawatha LRT) into the northwest suburbs. The line will travel out of downtown Minneapolis, through Golden Valley along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Corridor, then into Robbinsdale, Crystal, and Brooklyn Park, where it will end north of Hwy 610.

Timeline

Throughout 2014 and 2015, staff from the member cities, Hennepin County, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, and the Project Office worked together to develop preliminary plans (at a 15 percent level of design) and to establish the project’s scope and estimated cost.

In February 2016, Golden Valley—as well as the other cities along the line—voted to approve the physical components of the preliminary design plans in a process commonly known as Municipal Consent (get more information including links to the plans here). The project scope includes items of particular interest to Golden Valley: two light rail stations (at Plymouth Ave and Golden Valley Rd), a park and ride, and new trail connections.
The Met Council voted to approve the project scope and also set the final budget for the project at $1.256 billion. Local funding for 51 percent of the cost must be secured by mid 2017 in order to request federal funding from the FTA of $752.73 million. The local share is expected to be split between the Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) ($463.76 million), the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority (HCRRA) ($149.6 million), the State of Minnesota ($149.6 million), and smaller amounts between Hennepin County, MnDOT, and Brooklyn Park for specific roadway improvements.

By the end of September 2016, the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the line had been approved by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), clearing the way for the project to enter the Engineering phase of planning (get more environmental information here). Plans completed to the 60 percent level of design are expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2017; 100 percent complete plans should be finalized in late 2017. Construction of the line is scheduled to take place from 2018 to 2020, with passenger service beginning in 2021. More details about the phasing and staging of construction will be developed in 2017.

Planning Process

The City of Golden Valley is engaged in the planning process for the METRO Blue Line Extension in numerous ways. At a regional level, staff and elected officials work with the Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County, and the engineering team, led by Kimley-Horn, to address issues ranging from the location of station stops to impacts of the proposed line on nearby residents, businesses, and the environment.

On a more local level, the City has established a Bottineau LRT Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) to assist Hennepin County and a consultant team, led by SRF, in station area planning (get more information here). Through these efforts the PAC made recommendations regarding station amenities, circulation for vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians, and land uses and potential development opportunities in the area around the station platforms. This process concluded in April 2015.

Golden Valley will continue to explore the area surrounding the station at Golden Valley Rd and will incorporate any vision for future development into its 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Questions?

If you have questions or would like more information about the METRO Blue Line Extension LRT project, please visit the METRO Blue Line Extension LRT website, the Bottineau Community Works website, or contact Planning Manager Jason Zimmerman at 763-593-8099. The community outreach coordinator assigned to Golden Valley for the project is David Davies(612-373-5336).

Other METRO Blue Line Extension LRT Meetings

  • Public Open House
    March 21, 2017 | Golden Valley City Hall
    4-6:30 pm
  • Public Open House
    Nov 10, 2016 | Golden Valley City Hall
    5-7:30 pm (presentation at 6 pm)
  • Municipal Consent Vote, City of Golden Valley
    Feb 16, 2016 | Golden Valley City Hall 6:30 pm
  • Municipal Consent Open House and Public Hearing
    Feb 2, 2016 | Golden Valley City Hall
    6-7 pm: Open House
    7 pm: Public Hearing
  • Municipal Consent Open House and Public Hearing
    Met Council, Hennepin County, Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority
    Jan 19, 2016 | Minneapolis Central Library, Pohlad Hall
    5-6 pm: Open House
    6 pm: Public Hearing
  • Public Open House | Environmental Analysis
    Oct 28, 2015 | Golden Valley City Hall
    5-7:30: Open House
  • Public Open House
    Aug 12, 2015 | Golden Valley City Hall
    6–7 pm: Open House
    6-6:30 pm: Presentation
    6:30-7:30: Open House
  • Community Open House #3 | Station Area Planning
    June 4, 2015, 5:30-8 pm
    Harrison Community Center, 503 Irving Ave N, Minneapolis
  • Community Open House #2 | Station Area Planning
    January 29, 2015, 5:30-8 pm
    University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave, Minneapolis
  • Neighborhood Meeting
    January 7, 2015, 6-8 pm
    Courage Kenney Rehabilitation Institute, 3915 Golden Valley Rd, Golden Valley (parking will be in the south lot)
    Answers to questions raised and Jan 7, 2015 neighborhood meeting
  • Bottineau Corridor Management Committee
    Monthly on the second Wednesday, time and location TBD
  • Hennepin County Community Open House
    Wednesday, Nov 12, 2014 | 5:30–8 pm
    University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center, 2001 Plymouth Ave, Minneapolis
    The presentation begins at 6 pm.
  • Golden Valley Joint Commission Meeting - Bottineau LRT DEIS | Agenda | Minutes
    (Environmental Commission, Open Space & Recreation Commission, and Planning Commission)
    Thursday, May 15, 2014 | Golden Valley City Hall
    7 pm: Formal Public Hearing
  • Bottineau LRT DEIS Formal Public Hearing
    Wednesday, May 7, 2014 | Golden Valley City Hall
    6–7 pm: Public Open House
    7 pm: Formal Public Hearing

Bottineau LRT Planning Advisory Committee

The Advisory Committee completed its charge in April 2015. The Golden Valley City Council appointed the Advisory Committee Oct 15, 2013, to advise it on the Hennepin County Railroad Authority's Station Area Planning process for the two potential LRT stations planned for Golden Valley (one at Golden Valley Rd and one at Plymouth Ave).

2015 Meetings

2014 Meetings

2013 Meetings

Committee Members

Committee members included Rich Baker (Chair, Planning Commission Representative), Sean Fahey (Vice Chair, Resident Representative), Cathy Waldhauser (Planning Commission Representative), Tonia Golanska (Environmental Commission Representative), Debra Yahle ( Environmental Commission Representative), Gillian Rosenquist (Open Space and Recreation Commission Representative), Dan Steinberg (Open Space and Recreation Commission Representative), Andrea Wiley (Resident Representative), Erv and Carmen Heim (St Margaret Mary Church Representatives), and Alison Pence (Courage-Kinney Representative).

Q & A From Golden Valley's Tour Of The Blue Line (Hiawatha) LRT

On July 27, 2013, approximately 25 Golden Valley residents took a guided tour of the Blue Line (Hiawatha) LRT. Residents, along with Hennepin County and City staff, boarded the LRT at Target Field and rode the train to the VA Hospital in south Minneapolis. There participants went for a walk along the LRT tracks to see how the facility impacted surrounding neighborhoods. The following questions were asked by residents during the tour.

How can a person pay for tickets on the LRT?

There are no fareboxes on trains. You must pay for your ride before boarding the train. Police officers will randomly ask to see proof of fare payment on trains and stations. Riders must have proof of payment ready. There is a $180 fine for riding trains or buses without paying. All rail station platforms are paid fare zones, reserved for those who are purchasing tickets or for ticketed customers who are waiting for or getting off trains. Riders can use cash or a credit card to buy a ticket from the ticket machine on the station platform or validate a Go-To Card or Pass at the card reader on the platform.

Fares for light rail are the same as local bus fares ($2.25 during rush hours, $1.75 at all other times). No express charges apply. Seniors, youth, Medicare card holders, and people with disabilities qualify for reduced fares during non-rush hours. Rush-hour fares apply Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 6 - 9 am and from 3 - 6:30 pm.

How do you store bicycles while using the LRT?

Bicycles can be brought onboard and stored LRT trains. In addition, bicycle parking is available at all LRT stations.

When will the Green Line be operational?

The Green Line, which will connect Downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus, and Downtown St. Paul, is expected to be in operation in late 2014. The Southwest Corridor, which would serve as an extension to the Green Line, is currently under study.

When will the Interchange near Target Field be completed?

The Interchange, which will serve as the primary transit hub for Minneapolis and its suburbs, is expected to open in summer 2014.

How has the LRT impacted property values along Hiawatha Avenue?

Property values along the Hiawatha LRT have generally increased since the facility was constructed (get more information about the LRT’s impacts to property values in south Minneapolis).

What amenities are found at LRT stations?

LRT station platforms are considered “paid fair zones” and are therefore only meant to be used by riders who have paid to use the LRT. Amenities include bike parking, drinking fountains, heated shelters, fareboxes, and local directories.


Below: Photos from the Blue Line Tour

Recent METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) Headlines

METRO Blue Line Extension (Bottineau LRT) Pressroom