WCCO’s SWLRT fantasy reporting

Saying that WCCO’s reporting on the SWLRT project is based on DFL talking points and outright fantasy is understatement. The SWLRT project won’t happen for at least 3-5 years. That’s the reality thanks to the route that the Met Council picked for the SWLRT project.

WCCO is reporting that “Hennepin County officials announced Tuesday that the county will put in another $20.5 million in funding for a total financial commitment of $185 million – which is 10 percent of the project’s total cost,” adding that “The county’s increased commitment, along with that of the Metropolitan Council and the Counties Transit Improvement Board, will make up for the $144.5 million that was supposed to be paid for by the state.”

My reaction to this is simple: “So what”? The FTA (Federal Transportation Administration) has said they won’t fund the SWLRT until the Tunheim lawsuit is settled. I reported in this post that the Tunheim trial won’t start until Sept. 17, 2017. There won’t be a ruling in that lawsuit until the start of 2018. The thought that the SWLRT project will get started without federal money is preposterous. The latest projection for the total cost of the project is $1.9 billion ($1,900,000,000).

The DFL has been on the offensive about the project. Now Republicans are fighting back. Republicans have the stronger arguments in this fight. Jeff Johnson’s video provides some of those strong arguments:

The simple point is that SWLRT won’t get built for years even if the legislature voted to fund the project tomorrow. SWLRT is fraught with legal difficulties. The lawsuits will tie the SWLRT project up like lawsuits tied up the Big Stone II project. Once a project gets tied up in the courts, it takes on a life of its own. It’s beyond the politicians’ control. That’s where it’s at right now.

Authored By Let Freedom Ring Blog