In the fall of 2014, Metro Transit announced it would pursue funds for 2016 construction of the C Line Bus Rapid Transit project along Penn Avenue North. This opportunity was tied to $12.3 million in funds previously awarded to the B Line (West 7th) BRT project -- a St. Paul project that has been stalled. These funds were tied to construction in 2016. To seize this opportunity the Metropolitan Council also authorized funds for 2015 C Line BRT design and engineering and planned for detailed design to begin in spring of 2015.
To attempt to secure the $12.3 million for 2016 construction, in December 2014, Metro Transit requested the Transportation Advisory Board (TAB) reallocate the $12.3 million in funds to instead be awarded to C Line (Penn Avenue) BRT project. The Metropolitan Council has a vote on TAB, but TAB alone makes the decisions for programming these funds.
At its TAB will select project(s) for these funds after it develops and adopts new policies for reallocation of withdrawn projects' funding, expected this spring/summer. However, at this point it seems unlikely that the full $12.3 million would be awarded to C Line/Penn Avenue.meeting, the TAB did not award the requested funds to the C Line project.
The project remains a top priority for the Metropolitan Council, and Metro Transit will proceed with C Line design work in 2015 (using Metropolitan Council funds). Metro Transit will continue to pursue all potential transit funding options to advance the C Line project toward implementation. But since we were not awarded the TAB construction dollars, we don’t have a clear path to fund 2016 construction. This affords a couple more months of design schedule for mid-2016 or early 2017 construction start. Maintaining project eligibility for this 2016 funding award had called for completed construction documents at the end of calendar year 2015. What had been a very aggressive design schedule will now follow a more typical path. Under either scenario, we anticipate the same commitment to robust public engagement.