Ramsey County reinforces its commitment to implementing the Purple Line
On Wednesday, March 22, Ramsey County presented the following letter at the Maplewood Purple Line Engagement Workshop reinforcing its commitment to achieving a successful outcome. This project is a critical transit investment in the community and the need for reliable, frequent, high-quality transit service has not changed even in these uncertain times. Ramsey County will work with project partners and communities to take the time needed to explore and understand how a White Bear Avenue routing of Purple Line may benefit the project and the communities it serves. Ramsey County is excited to move forward with our partners and community to ensure the vision of the Purple Line becomes a reality.
Ramsey County has been following the developments within the Purple Line Advisory Committee Workshops. We remain committed to a successful METRO Purple Line and recognize that partnerships are key to achieving that success.
To that end, we have decided to pursue additional community engagement, route analysis and collaboration with Maplewood, and other project stakeholders, for the Purple Line. We have withdrawn our support for the submittal of federal rating documentation in August and will instead focus on the reevaluation of White Bear Avenue as an alternative route for the Purple Line.
The reevaluation of White Bear Avenue at a sufficient level of detail to allow for its comparison with the Ramsey County Rail alignment will enable project stakeholders to decide on the preferred route prior to advancing the project further into design. Ramsey County’s support for the reevaluation of White Bear Avenue is contingent upon the use of the existing right-of-way consistent with our All-Abilities Transportation Network which prioritizes pedestrians, bicycles, and transit before automobiles. This dedicated corridor will result in the conversion of one lane in each direction to a dedicated bus lane.
Ramsey County is more committed to transit than it ever has been. Even during times of uncertainty and change, the county knows that the need for reliable, frequent, high-quality transit remains. Future prosperity in Ramsey County, Maplewood and the entire east metro will require the presence of the Purple Line and other important transit corridors like it to ensure access to health care, food, jobs and vital services. We are excited to move forward with our partners and community to ensure this vision becomes a reality.
Chair, Ramsey County Board of Commissioners
Rafael E. Ortega
Chair, Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority
Commissioner, District 7