By Hilary Reeves, Strategic Advancement & Communications Director
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Transportation and environmental organizations including Transit for Livable Communities, Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Fresh Energy, and the Alliance for Sustainability jointly drafted and submitted a letter to Mayor Hodges and Minneapolis City Council members, urging the city to support Southwest LRT. The deadline for cities along the line to consent to the current alignment is in mid-July.
Here is the letter submitted to the Mayor and City Council:
We, the signatories to this letter, urge you to support the metropolitan region’s next transit line, Southwest Light Rail (SW LRT). We call on you to consent to the SW LRT project as the critical next step in expanding transit in Minnesota because of the positive impacts it will have on our environment. Southwest LRT will help reduce emissions and improve air quality, preserve open space and habitat, and protect water quality.
The City of Minneapolis has set a goal, as approved in its Climate Action Plan, of achieving a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 and a 30% reduction by 2025. Transportation generates 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in Minnesota with the majority of those emissions coming from cars and light trucks. The Climate Action Plan, recognizing that transportation is one of the largest contributors to Minneapolis’s green house gas footprint, targets the sector for 16% of projected emissions savings and a per capita reduction in vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The Plan specifically calls for the City to support, “the build‐out and upgrade of regional and local transit lines.