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McCollum Statement on Metro Transit Green Line Opening

June 13, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – On Saturday, Green Line light rail transit service will begin connecting downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis.  Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) has been an instrumental part of bringing that project to fruition.  From advocating federal funding for transit planning, to securing a $20 million appropriation for construction of the line, Congresswoman McCollum has been involved in every step of the process to make Saturday’s grand opening possible.

“This weekend's opening of the Green Line is an important step that is cause for celebration. It represents the culmination of more than a decade of work by a diverse coalition of organizations and allies,” said Congresswoman McCollum.  “Businesses, labor leaders, state, local and federal elected officials all recognized the value that this project could have for downtown Saint Paul and worked tirelessly to see it happen.  I have been proud to work hand in hand with those organizations and leaders to make today a reality.”

“Building a balanced 21st century transit system that serves both the east and west metro is vital to attracting future economic growth, jobs and talent,” McCollum continued.  “Union Depot is a state of the art multi-modal transit hub that is the backbone to a strong regional transit system, to help drive economic growth and regional development.  Gateway, Riverview, Rush Line, Red Rock and Robert Street Corridors, High Speed Rail and expanded Amtrak service are vital projects that we must develop to benefit the entire Twin Cities region and our state.”

Congresswoman McCollum has been active in working on the Green Line and Union Depot projects throughout her time in Congress.  In 2004, she helped to secure $1 million in federal funds to study transit options through the new Union Depot.  In 2009, through her role on the Appropriations Committee, she secured a $20 million appropriation to fund the line’s construction.  Congresswoman McCollum was a crucial member of the federal delegation that worked to secure the Federal Transit Authority’s commitment to paying for half of the project’s cost.