Work in Progress: Future Twin Cities Rapid Transit Map
At its height in 1920s, Minneapolis boasted 500 miles of electric trolley lines, which traced both of the Twins and reached as far out as Stillwater and St. Croix River. By 1940s as much as 36 percent of Twin Cities residents got around by streetcar. By 1950s, however, with car sales booming and suburbs expanding outwards, the whole system was swiftly scrapped and replaced with far less efficient buses.
In recent times, transport developers gave streetcars / light rail another look. They are cheaper to run than the buses and produce less pollution. More importantly, changing demographics of the urban core becomes more of a driving force. In the reverse migration, many of formerly prosperous suburbs are becoming home to the poor and minorities, while central cities are gradually attracting the affluent and educated. With that comes greater demand for services, including better public transit that goes where people want to go.
Currently, Minneapolis operates a single light rail line between the Mall of America and Downtown, with one more coming in 2014. But here’s a look of what the future system in Minneapolis may look like in 2030: two more rail lines (green and blue), two rapid bus lines (orange and red), all unified into a single system by way of frequent, reliable bus and streetcar routes (light green).
(Source: Flickr / mspdude)