Metro Transit defends payment requests to Ramsey County for Green Line costs – Twin Cities

2021-04-30 22:34:25 –

This week’s Metropolitan Council said it shouldn’t be surprising that Ramsey and Hennepin counties receive invoices for a share of the Green Line light rail business.

Response follows board Both counties, where the commissioner submitted the council’s request via Metro Transit, sought time to discuss a long-term plan to fund the transit system.

Wes Couistra, General Manager of Metro Transit, said: “There was a problem with our annual management grant, but it wasn’t a surprise … and there was a problem with the governor’s words on the bill on long-term capital maintenance payments.”

According to Kuuistra, the Metro Transit bill, which has been standard since 2018, was handed over to Ramsey County staff for review in November, who did not doubt it.

Ramsey County, a partner on the 11-mile light rail route between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, is expected to donate $ 5.8 million.

He also said that Metro Transit needs to be paid — and soon. In most of the last three quarters of 2020, pandemics cost about 65% of passengers on buses, 75% on light rail, and 95% on commuter trains.

“We haven’t received funding from Hennepin County. We haven’t received North Star (commuter rail) funding from Anoka County since July 2020,” said Kooistra. “Therefore, there are general operating costs that the county has promised in the past through the Master Operations funding agreement. It has not been paid and the annual grant application has not been approved.”

Ramsey County said it was aware of the difference, but said the two issues were related.

John Sikverand, a county spokesman, said: “As the Ramsey County Commissioner said at the meeting, they were on issues identified in the partnership before voting because of the number of unresolved and unknown issues about what the grant agreement would end up with. I’m looking for time to work on it. “

Governor Tim Walz’s proposal included the statement that the county was responsible for bridging the unfunded capital retention gap on transit lines through the jurisdiction.

Kooistra said the governor withdrew his words after the county expressed concern and called on the Metropolitan Council and the county to find a mutually consensus solution.

Ramsey is holding green line payments until these conversations take place.

The more serious question, according to Kooistra, is how will transit operations be funded in the future.

“We have these assets that are very important to our region, but we don’t have the funding to sustain them,” he said. “The fundamental question is how to pay for these valuable assets on which our community depends.”

Metro Transit defends payment requests to Ramsey County for Green Line costs – Twin Cities Source link Metro Transit defends payment requests to Ramsey County for Green Line costs – Twin Cities

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