In the Spotlight

News & Features

Issue: Transportation - Archived Stories and Audio (by Date)

Session 2000: The Bonding Bill
Over half of the funding will be spent on schools, from childrens' programs to college campuses around the state. It survived protests by some House Republicans, brought on by Governor Ventura's last-minute insertion of transit money into the bill. 5/10/00

LRT Planning: Cutting Corners
A House panel examined the allegations of a conflict of interest surrounding theMinneapolis light-rail project Tuesday, and added what critics say are more troubling details to the picture. The Minnesota Department ofTransportation and the Metropolitan Council are trying to address FederalTransportation Administration concerns about such a conflict. At the hearing,MnDOT officials admitted they tried to skirt open-bidding rules in order tomeet the project's strict deadlines, but they say no infractions occurred. 3/29/00

Light Rail at the Brink
The Minnesota House has approved more than $400 million in new spending for state transportation projects. The bill is similar to one passed earlier this week by the Senate. But significant differences remain between the House, the Senate, and the governor - including the issue of light-rail. 3/22/00

LRT's Rough Ride
House Republicans have introduced legislation to kill funding for the Twin Cities' light-rail line from downtown Minneapolis to the Mall of America and the airport. They accuse the state transportation department of making misleading cost predictions last year when money was first allocated. But other legislators, say having taken the plunge, they should see the project through, especially considering the Senate and Governor Jesse Ventura both support the project. 3/13/00

The Mile-High Governor
Governor Jesse Ventura says the Denver experience offers lessons in building successful rail systems, including overcoming political obstacles. Ventura's plan for a Minneapolis LRT line faces a challenge from some state lawmakers. 2/18/00

Denver's Light Rail Experiment
Governor Jesse Venture is in Denver, Colorado to tour that city's light-rail transit system. The trip is part of the governor's campaign to bring LRT to the Twin Cities, where the plan faces renewed opposition from some state lawmakers. 2/16/00

Freedom to Drive Legislation Advances
The Senate Transportation Committee has voted to shut down Twin Cities' ramp meters for a one-month study of their effectiveness. The measure is part of a so-called "Freedom to Drive" agenda pushed by Republican Minority Leader Dick Day. A measure to ticket drivers who hold up traffic in the left lane of Minnesota freeways also won committee approval. 2/16/00

Is LRT a Legislative Poker Chip for 2000?
Nearly $100 million in state funds for light-rail transit is under attack by House Republicans. GOP leaders say a proposed LRT line in Minneapolis is a waste of taxpayer money and they'll seek to repeal the bonding authority. Senate DFLers and Governor Jesse Ventura say the funding will stay. 2/10/00

On the Road for a Fight?
Governor Jesse Ventura touted his transportation funding package before the Senate Transportation Committee Wednesday. Many Senators support Ventura's transportation initiatives in general, but lawmakers also appear far more willing to challenge the governor this session.2/2/00

A New Road Map
Governor Ventura is proposing a $250 million-a-year hike in the state's transportation budget, with an increased emphasis on mass transit. Republican leaders have also been talking about spending more on transportation this year, but when they say "transportation," they mean "roads." 1/10/00