The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) will provide $156 million to build a commuter rail project from the town of Big Lake into downtown Minneapolis.
The new commuter rail line will include an extension of the existing Hiawatha light rail line to a new intermodal station in downtown Minneapolis, allowing riders to transfer to light rail and buses.
The project is considered to be the first phase of what will eventually become an 82-mile commuter rail line running the length of the Northstar Corridor, from downtown Minneapolis to Rice, Minn.
The funds will be applied to purchases of commuter rail and light-rail vehicles, fare collection equipment, the construction of five commuter rail stations and a vehicle maintenance facility.
The $156 million is approximately half the project’s total cost and will be paid out by the FTA through 2009.
The line is expected to open in 2010.