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AGENDA Rush Line Corridor Task Force Committee Meeting May


                                        Rush Line Corridor  
                                  Task Force Committee Meeting 
                                           May 20, 2010 
                                             3:30 p.m. 
                                           White Bear Lake City Hall 
                                             4701 Hwy 61 North 
                                            White Bear Lake, MN 
         Item                                                                  Action Requested 
    1. Call to Order/Introductions 
    2. Summary of January 21, 2010 Meeting*                        Approval 
    3. Rush Line Commuter Coach Update                       Approval/Information 
          a. Interagency Agreement  
          b. Funding Agreement 
    4. Union Depot Update* – Mortenson Construction                Information 
    5. Legislative Update*                                         Information 
    6. Other                                                       Information 
          a. Met Council Transportation Committee Presentation 
          b. 2009 Annual Report 
          c. Next Meeting July 15, 2010  

For questions on this material, please call Mike Rogers at 651‐266‐2773 
                                                                                            Agenda Item #2

Rush Line Corridor Task Force Meeting
January 21, 2010
Meeting Summary
Victoria Reinhardt, Ramsey Co. RRA                      Therese Furhman, North Branch
Dennis Hegberg, Washington Co. RRA                      Linda Nanko –Yeager, City of Wyoming
Rhonda Sivarajah, Anoka Co. RRA                         Doug Carlson, Pine County
Diane Miller, Harris                                    Tom Weidt, Hugo
Renae Fry, Columbus
Bill Blesener, Little Canada
Bryan Belisle, White Bear lake
Will Rossbach, Maplewood

Mike Robinson, Chisago County Commissioner              Scott Thompson, Metro Transit
Mike Rogers, Ramsey Co. RRA                             Bob Vockrodt, Mn/DOT
Ann Pung- Terwedo, Washington Co. RRA                   Linda Jungwirth, Ass’t to Ramsey Co. Commissioner
                                                        Janice Rettman
Julie Dresel, North Branch
Mary Karlsson , Metropolitan Council
Joseph Scala, Hennepin County

1. Call to Order and Introductions
Chair Reinhardt called the meeting to order at 3:32p.m. The group members introduced themselves.

1. a. Agenda Approval
Motion by Councilmember Weidt to approve the agenda with an amendment to Item #4 changing it from
an information item to an approval item. Seconded by Councilmember Nanko-Yeager. All in Favor.

2. Election of Officers
Motion by Commissioner Hegberg to nominate Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt as Chair. Seconded by
Commissioner Sivarajah. All in Favor. Approved

Motion by Commissioner Sivarajah to nominate Commissioner Dennis Hegberg as Vice-Chair. Seconded
by Councilmember Furman, All in Favor. Approved

3. Summary of November 19, 2009 Meeting
Motion by Commissioner Carlson to approve the meeting summary of November 19, 2009. Seconded by
Councilmember Furhman. All in favor. Approved

4. 2010 Work Plan and Budget
Mr. Rogers reviewed the general upcoming activities of the Rush Line Task Force as described in the
work plan.

Commissioner Sivarajah discussed Anoka County’s funding share for the Forest Lake/St. Paul express
bus service. She noted that the Task Force funding would cover 12 months and that the Metropolitan
Council may not be able to take over the service once funding runs out even if the service met
Metropolitan Council criteria.

Chair Reinhardt reiterated that the service needs to be successful in order for the service to continue.

Councilmember Fry added that Met Council funding consideration for the Rush Line service was one of
the conditions that the City of Columbus added into the agreement that the city signed with the Council to

                                                Page 1 of 3
                                                                                          Agenda Item #2

opt into the transit taxing district. Note: the agreement states the following “The Council will assist in
implementing a pilot project express bus service between Forest Lake, Columbus, and downtown St. Paul
to be funded by the Counties and operated by the Rush Line Task Force. Council assistance may
include administering the contract with the service provider chosen by the Rush Line Task Force.”

Mr. Rogers and Chair Reinhardt reviewed the ridership numbers for the St. Paul route that were
completed as part of the Commuter Bus Feasibility Study. Commissioner Sivarajah added that Anoka
County wants a stop in Anoka County at Columbus. She said the route should be evaluated throughout
the 12 months at regular intervals such as 3, 6, and 9 months. This would give the Task Force and idea
of how the route is fairing and if changes need to be made midway through the 12 month time frame.
After 12 months, it would be up to the Met Council to determine if they are able to pick up funding for the

Commissioner Sivarajah asked that the following items be included to secure Anoka County funding for
the bus service:
    1. A stop at the Running Aces Park and Ride in Columbus.
    2. Development of Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) data on the Corridor to
        update ridership information, and collaboration with the Metropolitan Council to develop ridership
        levels to determine the success of the route for its evaluation in item #3.
    3. Service Evaluation at 3, 6, and 9 months to determine how the route is doing and to make route
        adjustments if needed.
    4. Execution of necessary agreements between the Task Force and the Metropolitan Council for
        service operation.

Motion by Commissioner Hegberg to approve the 2010 work plan and budget. Seconded by
Councilmember Fry. Mayor Blesener inquired about how the funds were allocated for the Task Force.
Mr. Rogers provided additional detail on the allocation of funding. All in favor. Approved

Mr. Rogers provided the following general timeline for the initiation of the commuter coach service if the
processes occured as planned.
       • RFP completion: 3 weeks
       • 3 week preparation of proposal
       • 2-3 weeks before everything is in place
       • Service start in April

Commissioner Sivarajah noted that Anoka County would be reviewing its funding commitment to the
commuter coach service at its February 9, 2010 meeting.

Additional discussion ensued on the commuter coach service with Mayor Blesener asking about the
numbers that would make this route successful. Councilmember Fry stated that the Route 288 (Forest
Lake/Columbus to Minneapolis) numbers would be a good comparison. It currently carries 240 trips a
day. Mr. Thompson, Metro Transit, informed the Task Force that service is not typically started just prior
to or during the summer as this time of year shows a drop off in ridership of as much as 20%. The drop is
due to summer vacations and school being out of session. Mr. Thompson added that a good time to start
a new service is in September as people are getting back into their routines following summer.
Councilmember Weidt asked how this would impact the demonstration project if it started in April and if
additional funding would be available to get the route through the summer since it would be facing lower
initial ridership than a route started in September. He added that with only 12 months of funding, this
could negatively impact the competitiveness of the route when it was compared to peer services. Mr.
Rogers stated that there was no local funding committed beyond what was needed to cover 12 months of
operations. However, the federal funding available for the service is more than what is needed for 12
months and if matching funds from local or state sources were found, these funds would be available for

                                               Page 2 of 3
                                                                                              Agenda Item #2

5. 2009 Accomplishments
The Task Force reviewed the Draft Annual Report. Councilmember Nanko-Yeager stated that Gary
Menne is no longer with us. Commissioner Sivarajah asked that the City of Columbus be added to the
discussion on the Route 288 service on Page 3. Chair Reinhardt suggested that the photo on the cover
of the report be changed to the Union Depot in St. Paul. Members agreed on the change and directed
staff to incorporate it.

Chair Reinhardt updated the Task Force on a presentation that will be given on the status of the Rush
Line Corridor to the Metropolitan Council Transportation Committee on February 20, 2010. Note: the
presentation was postponed to April 12, 2010.

6. Legislative Update
Mr. Rogers provide an update on the state legislative session noting that Governor Pawlenty submitted
his bonding requests. Within those requests there was $10 million for transit with $7 million to the
Southwest Corridor and $3 million to Cedar Avenue. The House and Senate are currently developing
their own bonding bills which are likely to include additional transit funding.

Federal Update:
Mr. Rogers directed the Task Force to the memo in their packet summarizing federal legislative activities.
The House narrowly passed a $154 billion dollar jobs bill paid in part by unspent money from last year’s
Wall Street Bailout. Funding in the measure would be split with roughly $75 billion provided for efforts
that proponents suggest will create jobs and help unemployed workers and $48.3 billion would be set
aside for infrastructure projects. That amount includes $35 billion for highways and transit.

The debate over the timing of the passage of a six year transportation authorization bill continues. A 60
day extension of the bill was attached to the Defense appropriations bill that was passed by the House.
There is an ongoing debate about when to pass the six year bill and how to fund it since the gas tax does
not provide enough revenue to cover the funding outlined in the bills drafted to-date.

The Department of Transportation announced that the Cost-Effectiveness (CEI) for New Starts projects
will no longer represent 50% of the project’s overall score. It has been reduced to 20% to allow for livable
communities and land use issues to carry more weight in the evaluation of projects. Prior to the change,
the 50% weighting essentially resulted in the CEI being the pass/fail criteria for a project, instead of one of
many criteria to determine the project’s merit.

2010 Meeting Dates
Mr. Rogers reviewed the 2010 Meeting Dates memo included in the agenda packet.                  Meetings will
continue to be held at 3:30 p.m. at the White Bear Lake City Hall unless otherwise noted.

Since there was no further discussion, the meeting was adjourned at 4:50 p.m.

                                                 Page 3 of 3
                                                                                      Agenda Item #4 




TO:            Rush Line Corridor Task Force 

FROM:          Staff 

DATE:          May 12, 2010 

RE:            Union Depot Update 

Ramsey County hired Mortenson Construction in 2009 to complete the design for the renovation of the 
Union Depot in St. Paul.  Mortenson staff will provide an update on work done to date, upcoming 
activities, and will show the most recent visualizations for the project. 
Recommendation:           Information  

                                                                                                Agenda Item #5 




TO:              Rush Line Corridor Task Force 

FROM:            Staff 

DATE:            May 12, 2010 

RE:              Federal Update (provided by Lockridge Grindal and Nauen) 

The House of Representatives is reeling this week after news that House Appropriations Committee 
Chairman David Obey (D‐WI) will retire at the end of this term. Obey announced his plans Wednesday 
during an afternoon press conference. He has served for over 42 years in Congress and pointed to 
exhaustion as a reason for his surprise departure. He also noted that now that Congress has passed 
health care reform, he felt it was time to move on and let someone else represent the 7th District of 
Wisconsin with a fresh start. Obey has been a leader in the Appropriations Committee since 1994 and 
resumed the Chairman ship in 2007. Obey is known as a tough and spirited leader in the Democratic 
Party, and many Members of Congress from both Chambers and sides of the aisle have expressed their 
surprise at his announcement. Congressman Norm Dicks (D‐WA) who is currently the Chair of Defense 
Appropriations Subcommittee is reportedly seeking the Chairmanship. We will keep you updated on 
Appropriations Committee developments as they occur.  
Meanwhile, with a large legislative backlog yet to be considered by the full Senate, Majority Leader 
Harry Reid (D‐NV) threatened this week to keep the Senate in session for an extra week in August to 
deal with pending initiatives. The Senate is currently scheduled to recess August 14th, with the House 
adjourning on August 9th for the annual summer recess. Members typically use this time in August to 
travel throughout their state or district to meet with local groups and attend functions. During an 
election year, this month represents significant face time with would‐be voters.  
Jobs Legislation: 
House Leaders announced this week that they plan to pass more jobs legislation before Congress leaves 
for its Memorial Day break in late May. The Senate plans to spend at least the next two weeks debating 
a sweeping financial regulatory bill (S 3217). If the Senate takes up jobs legislation after that, it will face 
objections from Members on both sides of the aisle who want the cost of such programs to be fully 
offset. The House has already sent the Senate a number of jobs bills and acknowledges that they can do 
little but wait for the Senate to act. 
The House backed a $6 billion consumer rebate program for energy‐efficient home improvements that 
has been touted by the Obama Administration. On Thursday, May 6th, they passed the “Cash for 
Caulkers” Bill, (H. R. 5019) on a vote of 246‐161 with the support of 12 Republicans. This bill joins the list 

                                                                                              Agenda Item #5 

of jobs legislation waiting for Senate action, including: a bill (HR 4849) that would extend $16.8 billion in 
bond programs used by state and local governments for infrastructure development and provide tax 
breaks to small businesses, and a bill (HR 4899) that would spend $600 million on summer youth jobs 
The House also plans action soon on a $100 billion bill (HR 4812) sponsored by Education and Labor 
Chairman George Miller (D‐CA) designed to help states and localities prevent layoffs of police officers, 
firefighters, and teachers whose jobs are in jeopardy due to declining local and state tax revenues. 
Climate Change: 
Senators John Kerry (D‐MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I‐CT) will unveil a long‐awaited climate change bill 
on May 12 without the participation of their former partner, Senator Lindsey Graham (R‐SC), who had 
been the measure’s only Republican supporter. Senator Graham dropped his support from the climate 
talks two days before the originally scheduled April 26th introduction over his anger at reports that 
Majority Leader Reid planned to bring immigration legislation to the Senate floor ahead of the climate 
bill. Without Graham’s support, it seems unlikely the bill could gain enough traction to advance. It would 
need at least a handful of Republican backers in order to achieve 60 votes, and no one in the GOP shows 
any sign of filling the void left by Graham. The recent oil spilling in the Gulf of Mexico further 
complicates the issue because support for off‐shore drilling is an issue at the heart of this bill’s 
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that $775 million in federal funds is being made 
available to the nation’s transit providers to upgrade their bus systems. Federal Transit Administrator 
Peter Rogoff  made the announcement early this week in an address during the general session of the 
American Public Transportation Association’s Bus and Paratransit Conference in Cleveland, Ohio. 
According to the FTA’s press release, Rogoff stated, "Well maintained, clean, and reliable buses make a 
world of difference to the millions of Americans who use transit every day. The Obama Administration is 
making these funds available to ensure that financially strapped transit providers can keep buses rolling 
and serving the public during these difficult economic times.” 
The Federal Rail Administration (FRA) has just announced dates and locations of outreach meetings in 
five regions across the nation to solicit input toward the development of the nation's first National Rail 
Plan (NRP). According to a letter issued on May 4th from the FRA, Section 307 of the Passenger Rail 
Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (PRIIA) requires the Administrator of the Federal Railroad 
Administration to develop a long‐range NRP. Given the unprecedented amount of funding appropriated 
under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for significant improvements to passenger 
rail and the stated intention of the Obama Administration to add to this funding in the future, this effort 
has major national significance.  
The following is the list of outreach meeting dates and locations. 
Date                         City                      Hotel  
May 19, 2010 1‐5 pm   Kansas City, MO                  Hilton President  
May 20, 2010 1‐5 pm   Atlanta, GA                      Sheraton Atlanta Downtown Hotel  

                                                                                              Agenda Item #5 

May 26, 2010 1‐5 pm        New York City, NY           The New Yorker Hotel  
June 3, 2010 1‐5 pm        Salt Lake City, UT          Radisson Hotel Salt Lake City Downtown 
June 4, 2010 1‐5 pm        Portland, OR                The Benson Hotel  
The letter indicates that space is limited and registration is on a first‐come first‐serve basis. Registration 
ends May 14th and can be completed at 
Please contact the hotel directly for accommodations, if you plan to stay overnight. Updates will be 
posted on  under “Current Events.” For additional information, please contact or phone (202) 493‐1346. 
As you know, appropriations season is well under way. Members have posted the FY 2011 
appropriations projects they have submitted to the Appropriations Committee on their web pages. Links 
to those projects are listed below. At this time, the a hearing schedule has not been set in the House and 
Chairman Obey’s decision to retire is also been on the forefront of news out of his Committee this week, 
but sources indicate within the following weeks House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D‐WI) will 
set the House schedule. The Senate typically begins hearings a month after the House. The LGN Federal 
Relations team will continue to monitor the appropriations process and keep you updated on any and all 
Senator Klobuchar  
Senator Franken  
Congressman Walz 
Congresswoman McCollum
Congressman Ellison
Congressman Peterson 
Congressman Oberstar{B5785DFC‐
Recommendation:           Information  

           Agenda Item #5 



       Agenda Item #5 



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