What is the goal?
On Board Midwest’s goal is to inform people about the Saint Paul-to-Chicago rail line project, help them understand how it will enhance the quality of life for Minnesotans through more efficient transportation options and improved access between Midwest cities, and encourage them to get on board with the project.
We have an opportunity to expand and enhance passenger rail service in the Midwest and strengthen Minnesota’s connection to the region. With 15 years of planning behind it, the Saint Paul-to-Chicago rail line is the first project in our region that is ready to move forward. President Obama has even included this project in his vision for rail in Minnesota.
The federal stimulus package has allotted $8 billion for transportation nationwide, creating tight competition for federal funds. Now is the time to move the Saint Paul-to-Chicago rail line forward and keep Minnesota ahead of the curve in transportation.
What are the benefits?
The Saint Paul-to-Chicago rail line will create jobs; energize our regional economy, help reduce environmental impacts; and strengthen the state’s manufacturing, service and tourism industries.
According to a study commissioned by the state of Minnesota and other partners in the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative, the Saint Paul-to-Chicago rail line will:
- Create an estimated 1,570 new permanent jobs in Minnesota in addition to hundreds of construction jobs needed to complete the project.
- Reduce travel times between the metropolitan centers and communities along the route and provide people with alternative transit options.
- Increase freight traffic by 80% over the next 15 years, providing more efficient ways to transport commodities throughout the Midwest.
- Encourage businesses to distribute their operations more widely across the region and spur economic development, particularly in communities with rail line stations.
- Provide up to $2.3 billion in economic benefits for Minnesota businesses and rail line passengers.
- Decrease energy consumption and reduce air pollution; passenger rail travel is three to six times more fuel-efficient than cars or planes.
- Provide up to $180 million in joint development opportunities near Minnesota stations