Light Rail: Who Benefits and Who Decides?

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On-air date: 
Mon, 08/11/2014
Listen to or download this episode here: 

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This Wednesday, August 13th, the Metropolitan Council and Hennepin County will hold a joint hearing on amendments to the Minneapolis portion of the Southwest Light Rail Transit plan (SWLRT).  The hearing marks an important stage in what has been a lengthy, complicated, and contentious planning process.  On June 14, the equally controversial Green Line opened, connecting the downtowns of Minneapolis and St. Paul, with many stops in between.  And, looking to the future, planning is underway for the Bottineau Transit Corridor.

Clearly the light rail train has left the station, but it’s not too late to ask some basic questions. 

  • What is the purpose of light rail in the first place? 
  • Who does it really serve?
  • How can light rail contribute to racial and economic equity?

How are urban neighborhoods and communities of color organizing to make that happen?

Joining co-hosts Siobhan Kierans and Tom O'Connell will be a collection of transit experts and social justice advocates who will help bring some clarity and focus to this contentious issue.

On-air guests: 

 Dave Van Hattan, policy director, Transit for Livable Communities



 Conrad deFiebre, transportation fellow at Minnesota 2020



 Russ Adams, director, Alliance for Metropolitan Stability



 Kenya McKnight Ahad, member of the Regional Transportation Advisory Board



 Aasim Shabaz, co-chair of the Blue Line Coalition, a community-led effort to do authentic engagement and planning for the Bottineau corridor