Members of the public were invited to attend an open house on Tuesday put on at the St. Croix County Government Center by the Gateway Corridor Commission. The group put on the open house so the public could get the opportunity to learn about the group's transit plans from downtown Minneapolis through St. Paul, Woodbury, Hudson and all the way to Eau Claire.
The group has identified eight transit alternatives to study in greater detail over the next several months. Some of the options include bus service, others include light rail service. One option includes commuter rail service along existing tracks.
What are the alternatives being studied?
Alternative 1: The “no build” option would maintain current express bus service from the central cities to Woodbury. The buses would travel on MnPASS lanes between Minneapolis and St. Paul and then use the shoulder when traffic is moving slow between St. Paul and Woodbury.
Alternative 2: This option is the same as the first option, except it adds express bus service all the way to Eau Claire from the central cities.
Alternative 3: This option would incorporate bus rapid transit—similar to express bus service, but faster—in a MnPASS lane from Minneapolis to St. Paul and a bus-only lane from St. Paul to Hudson along Interstate 94. Express buses would connect Hudson to Eau Claire.
Alternative 4: This option would be the same as Option 3, however the route would travel along Seventh Street in St. Paul and would travel along Hudson Road in Woodbury.
Alternative 5: This option provides light rail transit from St. Paul’s Union Depot to Hudson along Interstate 94. Express buses would connect Hudson to Eau Claire.
Alternative 6: This option provides light rail transit on a more windy route than Option 5. The route would travel down Seventh Street in. St. Paul, then travel along Interstate 94 starting at White Bear Avenue, and then travel along Hudson Road in Woodbury and connect back with Interstate 94. Express buses would connect Hudson to Eau Claire.
Alternative 7: The seventh option would create commuter rail from Minneapolis to Eau Claire using existing track. There are two potential routes to the Union Depot in St. Paul. From the Depot, the route would travel along Union Pacific Railroad tracks north of Interstate 94 to Eau Claire.
Alternative 8: The eighth option would use MnPASS lanes from Minneapolis to Hudson. The option would include adding Park and Ride lots throughout the corridor. Express buses would connect Hudson to Eau Claire.