Bickering twins

Minneapolis shouldn’t delay a proposed rail between St. Paul and Chicago.

The Star Tribune recently reported that a proposed high-speed rail project between St. Paul and Chicago could finally get federal funding. The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act allocates $8 billion to new high-speed rail projects in the United States. The original plan to be submitted was to have one line running from only St. Paul to Chicago. But Hennepin County is now requesting a study that examines the potential benefit of a line extended to Minneapolis. With the potential benefits of a high-speed rail connecting the Twin Cities to Chicago, a project cannot be delayed over political bickering. Time is important: Within 60 days, a proposal will have to be submitted to the Department of Transportation so it can receive potential full-funding for the project. It makes sense that Minneapolis wants to seize the opportunity for funds while the hand of the federal government is extended, but project coordinators should be careful not to bite that hand. Besides, while Minneapolis might not get a line with this project, one can always be extended from St. Paul in the future. In the meantime, the buses from the two cities will keep running for visitors and residents. Continued wrangling between the Twin Cities must not delay this project. Due to that amount of federal stimulus dollars available, the United States now has a chance to catch up to its European counterparts in the high-speed rail lines. High-speed rail could become a vital part of MinnesotaâÄôs infrastructure, with opportunities to connect Duluth, the Twin Cities and Chicago. Cooperation is of the essence.