The Metropolitan Council in Minnesota has secured federal approval from US Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to begin designing the Metro Blue Line Extension in the north-west of Minneapolis.
The13-mile long light rail transit (LRT) line will have 11 new stations and it will extend through north Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal to Brooklyn Park.
It will connect Minneapolis and the north-west communities with transitways, including the existing LRT on the Metro Blue and Green lines, future LRT on the Metro Green Line Extension, bus rapid transit on the Metro Red Line, the Northstar commuter rail line and local and express bus routes.
Metropolitan Council chair Sue Haigh said: "The Blue Line Extension and the future Green Line Extension will help Minneapolis residents and those from north-west and south-west communities get to work and school, delivering on our promise of equity.
"Completion of these lines is the key to building a fully-developed multi-modal system to serve the people of this region."
Once operational in 2021, the double-tracked Blue Line Extension is estimated to have 27,000 average weekday riders by 2030.
Approximately 50% of the project’s $997m budget will come from the FTA, 30% from the Counties Transit Improvement Board, 10% from Hennepin County and 10% from the state.